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tCJe Antiquities oi Jfeeraltirp* 



^nttquttted of llfraliirg. 


€arl^ Srmortal ^eals: 









Never perhaps did an Art or Practice exist which has excited so much enthu- 
siasm in proving^ its Antiquity, or so great a disregard of facts which invaUdate 
that opinion. — BncyclopcBdia MetropolUana; art. " Heraldry." 

The title page of this work contains a sufficient apo- 
logy for its appearance before the public. In this 
volume are brought together a very much larger col- 
lection of new facts on the subject than has ever before 
appeared in any work on Heraldry ; and whilst the col- 
location and treatment of old facts is also new, no work 
has ever discussed the subject inductively so fully or 
widely, or employed the views and arguments which are 
here exhibited for the first time.* 

* The author wrote an octavo pamphlet of 23 pages in 1853, wliich 

was published by the publisher of the present work, entitled A Flea 

for the Antiquity of Heraldry, to which was prefixed the following 

table of 


Hereditary family arms prevalent in aU ages and countries — The 

colours and devices painted on the bodies and shields of savages, 

distinctions of tribes and clans, originally the personal adoption of 

^ chieftains, transmitted from father to son, and to succeeding tribes, 

^ the origin, for the most part, of all subsequent national and family 

I arms — The " parti-coloured shields " of tne ancient Germans, men- 

^ tioned by Tacitus, of this character, and all such, and similar modem 

V. armorial bearings, an unbroken inheritance from the Teutonic chiefs 

— Modem European blazonry, being these alone, or in composition 

with other devices of subsequent adoption, or of ancient inheritance 

from the nations of antiquity, the whole varied infinitely by colour. 





The two most important works of recent times on 
Heraldry, are Mr. Boutell's English Heraldry^ Historical 
and Popular^ and Mr. Seton's Laxo and Practice of 
Heraldry in Scotland. They are both copious volumes, 
highly instructive and valuable ; both didactic, and full 
of well digested information, derived from authentic 
sources ; but argumentative only on points of detail and 
minor interest, and do not indulge in any discussion, ex- 
cept in the briefest manner, about the antiquity of 
Heraldry, avoiding altogether the wide and multifarious 
aspects of the Science which are treated of in the fol- 
lowing pages. 

form, number, and modes of display — National arms, in general, ori- 
ginally personal — Testimonies to the existence of family heraldry 
among the ancients, with instances ; its hereditary character — Many 
Welch coats of arms probably of Roman-British origin — The scanty 
notices to be met in the remains of ancient and mediaeval literature, 
as numerous relatively as those to be found in the literature of the 
present day — Prevalent erroneous notions of modem heraldry re- 
luted — Arms borne at the Conquest proved by a reductio ad ahBU/r- 
dum — aB a rule hereditary — changed only on marrying a heiress, or 
a wife of superior rank — " Differences " not arbitrarily assumed, but 
taken from the maternal or uxorial coat — The family and national 
ensigns of subjugated nations, except in few cases, discontinued or 
prohibited, and now unknown — The horse prevalent in Anglo-Saxon 
blazonry, in Anglo-Norman arms very rare, an indirect proof of the ex- 
istence of the former — Canting arms generally taken by novi homines 
— Family relationship alone, and not the feudal connection (which 
was a coincidence not the cause) the source of new coats of arms. 

This it will be seen is the germ of the present work. It was 
noticed by the Editor of the Herald and Genealogist in the number 
for March, 1865, in the introductory remarks of an intended series 
of articles on the " Origin and Development of Coat Armour," by 
himself, and the prominent views embodied in it were considered 
unsound and untenable. This induced the author to take up his 
pen to justify his propositions, purposing to make that periodical 
the vehicle of his enlarged and amended " Plea ;" but he found his 
new facts and arguments assume such proportions, that he abandoned 
that intention, and resolved to place before the public in an inde- 
pendent volume this very considerable expansion of his earlier 
opinions, that a judgment might be arrived at upon the issues raised 
between the author and writers of opposite views. 


But both these writers, as well as their more immedi- 
ate and noteworthy predecessors, Mr. Montagu, who 
wrote a thin and elegant quarto, entitled a Guide to the 
Study of Heraldry^ and Mr. Lower, who published an 
illustrated octavo volume of a popular and entertaining 
character, called Curiosities of Heraldry^ together with 
many authoritative authors of Heraldic and Genealogi- 
cal articles in the Archaeological Journals,— ^all profess 
the same opinions substantially on the question of the 
era of the origin of Modern or Mediaeval Heraldry, viz.,' 
that it must be sought for no earlier than the middle of 
the 12 th century, and that it had no antecedent ex- 
istence, and was not in any way derived from the de- 
vices used. by the Ancient Greeks and Eomans, or other 
nations of antiquity. 

Two more recent authors, belonging to the preceding 
category, must however be separately distinguished, as 
having devoted more especial attention to the early 
history of the Science, and discussed its pretensions to 
antiquity, with the result in both instances of coinciding 
in the judgment just mentioned, as arrived at by the 
preceding authors. These are Mr. Planche, who wrote a 
small work. Heraldry founded on Facts^ and Mr. Mchols, 
Editor of the Herald and Genealogist^ who in the num- 
ber for March 1865 of that periodical, began a series 
of articles on the " Origin and Development of Coat 
Armour." As these two gentlemen have uttered the 
most salient dicta on the subject, their opinions will re- 
ceive detailed exanunation in the following pages. 

This concurrence of all the influential inquirers into 
the subject during the last twenty yeai'S, and the ab- 
sence of any work advocating opposite views, gives an 
appearance of soundness and truth to theories that are 
thus unopposed, and that no one has ventured to contro- 
vert. Yet the Annals of Literature testify to many 



cases where a succession of writers follow each other in 
the same track, and for a' long period move in the same 
groove, without their course being diverted; till at 
length a new way is opened up, and men's thoughts 
are turned into a channel that hitherto has been neg- 
lected, or not fully explored. That this should be the 
case at any time on the subject in question, it required 
little sagacity to predict; as any theory of a negative 
character may be destroyed by a fresh discovery, by new 
* facts, or by new arguments, that give to old facts the 
force of the most cogent circumstantial evidence. 

The critical spirit of the last quarter of a century 
justly rejected the unwarranted theories that had been 
handed down ; and dissatisfied with opinions founded on 
insufficient evidence, or none at all, has passed from one 
extreme to another. Formerly we had conjectures with- 
out facts ; now we have facts without conjectures. A 
comparison •of facts, arguments from the seen to the un- 
seen, from the known to the unknown, — are eschewed 
and forbidden. Speculations are regarded as delusive ; 
inferences are uncertain ; probabilities and analogies are 
not conclusive, and afford no demonstration. Such is 
the creed of the recent writers on Heraldry. They 
want facts and facts only. All reasoning,- save the direct 
and positive evidence that will satisfy children, is worth- 
less in their eyes. They will believe the stars they 
can see and count with the naked eye in the firma- 
ment of heaven; they believe in none others. What 
vestiges of the structures, of the arts, of the customs of 
antiquity, that have come down to us and escaped the 
ravages of time, are evidence j»ro tanto^ but not farther.* 

* As a general rule we are disposed to consider unreasonable 
scepticism as much the besetting sin of modem literary criticism, 
as indiscriminating credulity was of the ancient. — Saturday BevieWy 
June 20, 1868, p. 287. 


Such is the childish simplicity, whose conceptions do 
not range beyond its observations, that has pervaded 
grave and sober investigations into the origin and his- 
tory of a Science whose foundations are in reality laid 
deep and wide ; but whose superstructure the superficial 
observer ignorantly fancies is wholly unlike anything of 
the kind in ancient times, and was built of entirely new 
materials, on a soil which had never before known the 
impress of the hand of man. 

And in this spirit, it is complacently believed that 
the true origin of Mediaeval Heraldry has been explored 
and its foundations traced;' that notwithstanding it is 
admitted that devices on shields and banners are co- 
extensive, with war, during the long and dreary period 
of the Dark Ages, when nothing prevailed but igno- 
rance and fighting, the customs of antiquity were dis- 
used, but that the Tournaments of the 10th and 11th 
centuries were the exclusive occasions of their use for 
an especial and temporary purpose ; that otherwise they 
were abandoned and laid aside, but that in the middle 
of the 12th century, for some unexplained reason, the 
fashion was again instituted by a few, like the incipient 
use of wigs and hair powder, and gradually increased, 
till in the 13th century every Baron and Enight 
throughout Europe bore a device on his shield, his 
banner, and his seal. 

Philology, Archaeology, and Science generally, have 
recently made such rapid strides, not so much by new 
discoveries, as by a bolder and more unprejudiced view 
of the relations and significance of known facts. In 
this way Cuvier has been dethroned by Darwin; the 
old school of Geologists has been supplanted by Lyell 
and his followers ; in Natural Theology, Jowett, Lewes 
and others have shaken faith in Paley ; Ethnology is be- 
coming a science, and the Pre-historic Man is no longer 


a dream and a fancy. Of all the numerous and interest- 
ing branches of Archaeology, Heraldry alone, or the 
History of Symbolism, has made no advance, and re- 
ceived no elucidation from an enlarged spirit of inquiry, 
from wider views, and a more extended generalization. 

And yet what more interesting investigation can en- 
gage the archaeologist than that afforded by the Pic- 
torial Language of Mankind — ^by those symbols and 
emblems that have in all ages appealed so forcibly to the 
passions and imaginations of men — that have stirred 
their hearts and kindled their emotions, often more 
powerfully than spoken words — that have excited their 
religious enthusiasm, and inflamed their warlike pro- 
pensities? Heraldry, even in its present contracted 
sense, the study of Coins, of Gems, and Emblematical 
Vases, — all here combine to elucidate the meaning and 
history of those mysterious symbols that have held and still 
hold such a marvellous influence over the minds of men. 

But though in war, as practised by civilized nations, 
the custom of bearing personal devices has ceased, the 
partiality for family and individual emblems, is as strong 
as ever ; and that for reasons that must ever prevail, — 
as ornamental distinctions of rank, as evidence of ances- 
tral fame, as expressive of character, and of a sentiment. 
A word, a monogram, can never supply the place or an- 
swer the purpose of a device, even with an entirely edu- 
cated people, because the latter has an expression and 
affords a pleasure of which verbal language is incapable. 
A symbolical picture interests eveiy eye, and as Quarles 
says, an emblem is a speaking parable. Accordingly 
the modern trade-mark is almost invariably emblema- 
tical and pictorial ; and the ornamental tastes of the age 
have, amongst various displays of it, given a prominence 
to heraldic insignia on note paper, or in its absence, to 
decorative monograms. 


In the United States of America, social practice is at 
variance with republican simplicity; and a passion to 
display " family arms " characterises a people whose de- 
mocratic instincts repudiate every feudal habit or insti- 
tution except this one; but unfortunately their usage 
wholly ignores the chief attribute of feudal heraldry, — 
distinction ; for an American novu^ homo seizes upon and 
exhibits a coat of arms borne by a family of the same 
name, but of wholly different lineage, or of a resembling 
name, so as to create the impression of descent from an 
English armigerous family ; in like manner as it is the • 
ambition of every family in England which seeks to dis- 
play genealogical and heraldic honours, to claim descent 
from some Norman Knight " who came over with the 

Heraldry is not destined like Alchemy, Astrology, 
and other obsolete studies, to fall into desuetude ; as a 
branch of Archeeology, it will doubtless receive more 
attention and excite more interest than heretofore ; and 
as a Practical and every day Art, it is destined probably 
socially and artistically to be cultivated, but in different 
modes of display, as widely, and as fondly, as in the 
most flourishing period of Chivalry, — as in the times of 
Edwkrd the third, and Eichard the second, when it 
reached the highest pitch of ornamental excellence, and 
was numbered among the domestic glories and social 
pageantries of the nobles and knights of the age. But, 
if in one essential and important feature, its future use 
is to disregard the regulations observed five centuries 
since ; and capricious assumption, and a flagrant and un- 
warranted appropriation, are to characterize it, as in many 
instances is and has been the case, — the practice of using 
a Coat of Arms or Crest will degenerate into a Mockery 
and a Burlesque. To use armorial bearings that for 
centuries have been the privilege, indeed the property of 


another family, a usurpation once punishable by laws or 
custom, that have only fallen into desuetude, would be 
regarded with as much derision as the. arbitrary assump- 
tion of an honoured Name or of a Title, were it not un- 
fortunately a practice too common, and one which the 
Earl Marshal has long since ceased to notice. 

What Law has ceased to punish, it is to be hoped 
hereafter Society will discountenance and treat with con- 
tempt, as it does other unfounded pretensions. Any 
man whose social position entitles him to the distinction, 
in default of hereditary right, may obtain a Grant of a 
Coat of Arms and Crest from the College of Arms, which 
he may use as justly, if not as proudly, as a descendant 
of a Knight whose banner may have fluttered at the 
siege of Caerlaverock 500 years since. Those who do not 
choose to take that course may adopt the plan pursued 
and sanctioned by a high authority four centuries ago, 
viz. Dame Julian Bemers, who in the Bohe of SL Jlbans 
published in 1486, says:- — ^' Armys bi a mannys aucto- 
ritye taken {if another man have not borne theym afore) be 
of strength enough." Or they may follow another prac- 
tice then prevalent, — take the arms of some ancestor, 
with some variation of colour or additional charge. 
There are few persons who, after investigation, would 
not find that they had some female lineal ancestor who 
was of gentle blood; and it would be far juster and 
more appropriate to assume the arms of her family, with 
some prominently distinctive charge, or addition, than 
to bear the coat-armour of a family of the same name, 
but of wholly different ancestry. Such a coat, changing 
one of the tinctures to purpure or vert (which are very 
rarely met with in ancient arms) with a canton bearing 
the ensigns of the county where the assumer was bom 
(as the white horse of Kent for instance) or in the appro- 
priate cases, the harp of Ireland, or the thistle of Scot- 

« • • 


land, or a prominent charge in the achievement of a 
company or Corporation of which he is a member, -^a 
coat of arms so composed, would be peculiar, eminently 
fitting, and invade the rights of no other family. 

I have deviated from the custom, in printing books, of 
giving extracts in the same type as the author's text, 
and adopted the practice of the Quarterly Keviews in 
that respect. I think the reader is entitled to see at a 
glance what is written by the author and what is not; this 
distinction is a relief to the eye, and even to the mind. 
We are well content in the pages of a Macaulay, a Mill, 
and a Lecky, to see the facts they adduce embodied in 
eloquent arid convincing periods, and to meet with no 
check in the smooth and onward flow of their rhetoric ; 
but lengthy quotations, if not obviously distinctive, baulk 
the reader's expectations, and impede his discrimination. 

Unequal labour and research have been employed on 
the different chapters of this work. To Chapters VIII 
IX and X, which are the results of inquiries and coUec- 
tions spread over mauy years, I think, from the present 
state of our accessible materials, not many important 
additions could be made. In chapter IV, I think my 
predecessors have exhausted all the sources of informa- 
tion which ancient Clfissic Literature furnishes; and this 
I have embodied ; but as regards the information to be 
gained from Coins, and Gems, and Vases, that would il- 
lustrate Heraldry, it is almost boundless. I make no pre- 
tension to acquaintance with either of these three kinds 
of memorials of antiquity ; each forms a study of itself, 
and an inexhaustible study, and gives ample employ- 
ment to special students. Should any of them, from 
looking over these pages, be more forcibly impressed 
with the heraldic character of the objects of their 
knowledge, such conviction would give them a new sig- 


nificance, and in their hands they would receive a fuller 
interpretation, and their new relation be more clearly- 
traced.* Chapter V is an entirely new feature in He- 
raldic works ; but I think I have shown the bearing of 
Heraldry on Mythology, and that Mythology can be elu- 
cidated by a branch of knowledge never hitherto con- 
sidered to be at all connected with it. The first three 
chapters I found, after they were printed, I could con- 
siderably enlarge. The remaining chapters were written 
during the progress of the work through the press^ and 
embody many facts and arguments that would have their 
right place in other chapters ; and often, from the nature 
of the subject, repeat facts and arguments mentioned 
elsewhere ; but this is inseparable from a complete view, 
in accordance with the title of a chapter. 

The range my inquiries have taken would, to do jus- 
tice to the whole subject, necessitate yet further very 
considerable research. Books of Voyages and Travels 
constitute a voluminous branch of Literature, and if ex- 
plored, would furnish a vast addition to the few facts I 
have collected respecting the armorial insignia of semi- 
barbarous tribes, as well as of civilized peoples, as also of 
the practice of Tatooing and Totems. But this would 
involve prolonged labour, and cause the indefinite post- 
ponement of the work. Some new books, and others 
that would elucidate the subject, I have seen too late to 
make use of in the following pages. 

Chablwood, Siteeey. 
May 23, 1869. 

* A recent review, in a weekly journal of great repute, of a small 
work on Heraldry sets a much higher yalue on Numismatics than 
on Heraldry ; but what are coins, gems, and yases, but yehicles for 
the exhibition of heraldic devices ? Numismatics is in fact a branch 
pf the wider science of Heraldry. 




Picture writing and signet rings preceded Alphabets — Figured ban- 
ners and shields coeval with War — became sacred and introduced 
into Eeligious rites — Character of ancient standards and banners- 
Practice of the ancient Bomans and of the Jews — Standards and 
Devices of the Assyrians and Egyptians — Assyrian cylindrical 
seals — Symbolism in ancient India — The feudal system and armo- 
rial bearings there prevalent — Emblems of the 36 royal tribes — 
The Sun and Moon worshippers in India and Greece — Wars be- 
tween the military and sacerdotal classes — Devices on the copper 
plate deeds of the Indian princes — Emblems on ancient oriental 
coins —Emblem of the Bull in China, Japan, and amongst the 
Cymbri — Emblems in the temples and on the statues of the deities 
in Hindostan — Standards and distinctive marks of the Chinese . 1-15 



Parti-coloured banners and costume of early origin — Figure-less he- 
raldic patterns of the ancient Assyrians — Ornamentation on ancient 
pottery — on temples and towers in Ireland — Tatoo patterns of pri- 
mitive races and modem Savages-— Early custom of painting the body 
with figures — the Picts — Heraldic patterns on Greek costume— 
Parti-coloured dresses in ancient Persia and Ireland — Antiquity 
and wide prevalence of the Scottish Plaid — Parti-coloured shields 



and garments of the Gauls and Germans — Shields and Banners of 
one colour — ancient and mediffival examples — origin of the Tri- 
colour flag 16-24 



Banners and devices of the companies and great chiefs of the ancient 
Mexicans — the Swan their national emblem — colonization of Ame- 
rica — supposed partly by the lost tribes of Israel — evidences of 
Asiatic origin — Sculptured figures on the monolithic idols of the 
Mexicans — exhibit heraldic ordinaries and charges — ^Resemblance 
between the antiquities of Mexico and of India and other countries 
— Prevalence of the figure of the human hand, and of the phallic 
emblem — The tribes of the North American Indians named after 
animals and birds — their totems or heraldic distinctions . . . 25-29 



Symbolical Devices of the Greeks — Testimonies from Hesiod and 
Homer — from -^schylus and Euripides — the family device of Par- 
thenopseus — Testimonies from Pliny, Virgil, Xenophon, and He- 
rodotus — Greek coins and their devices — Devices on signet rings 
— that of Xerxes borne as a crest by the family of Viscount Clifden 
— Antique gems used as medisBval seals — ^Emblems on Greek and 
Etruscan vases — ^Examples — Question as to their character, whe- 
ther arbitrary, or fixed and hereditary, considered — Passages from 
Ovid and Virgil concerning figured shields and heraldic crests — 
Devices of the Eomans hereditary — their national and military 
ensigns — systematic arrangement of the Cohort-ensigns — repre- 
sented on the Trajan Column, and figured in the Notitia Imperii — 
some found carved on stone in the remains of Eoman Britain — De- 
vices on Eoman coins and medals — Cohort-ensigns probably origi- 
nally the family devices of the heads of the gentes and of the 
Triumviri Monetales — Comparison between Greek and Eoman 
Heraldry . 30-49 


War preceded Eeligion — mental speculation slowly developed— :the 



powers of Nature first inspired religious feeling — Objects wor- 
shipped by the Turanians — Animals as such, never originally objects 
of idolatry — The Sun the first object of all worship — afterwards 
animals, as heraldic emblems, became sacred, associated with sun 
worship — eventually the sole objects of adoration — this the origin 
of the attributes of the heathen deities and of the sacred animals 
of the Egyptians — Mythology a branch of Theology — Fables of 
Mythology not the primitive beliefs of mankind — How interpreted 
by the ancient philosophers — Their various theories and explana- 
tions — Views of modern writers — Comparative Mythology as ex- 
plained by Professor Max Miiller and his followers — Classical 
mythology arose out of the Sanskrit poem the Veda — importance of 
the discovery — Absorption of secular literature by Beligion — Adop- 
tion or Transformation of Heathen symbolism and divinities by 
Christianity — Historical events embodied in mythical tales — their 
elimination considered impracticable by Sir G. Lewis and Mr. 
Grote — l^otwithstanding, in certain cases possible and desirable — 
Assistance herein o Heraldry — The Phallus, the origin of the pre- 
Christian cross — originally probably a trophy, as also the ancient 
symbol of the Hand — Origin of the Fleur de lis. Annulet, Mascle, 
Mullet, Crescent, and other heraldic symbols — the Serpent in My- 
thology and Heraldry — its world wide worship— theory to account 
for it — Imagery of the Veda accounted for — Origin of the Labours 
of Hercules, the signs of the Zodiac and the Incarnations of Vishnu 
— Allegorical and figurative language of the ancients and of the 
modems — explains difficulties in Mythology — Meaning of animals 
etc. in conjunction with heathen deities and their attributes — origin 
of the fabulous monsters of antiquity — originally heraldic in mean- 
ing, afterwards morally emblematical — Pictorial representations at 
first literal, then symbolical — Origin of human-headed animals and 
birds — Origin of the Nimbus — Two propositions deduced as the 
result of the foregoing facts and reasonings — Heraldry a valuable 
aid to Mythology — more certain than Philology — Modem mytho- 
logy — The Veda the offspring of a cultivated age, and the deposi- 
tary of pre-existing feelings and sentiments 50-104 




Personal and local nomenclature in i^ languages embodies largely 
names derived from the animal kingdom — examples — fallacy of 
other derivations of such nomenclature— animals, etc. the emblems 
of warrior-chieftains gave them and their tribes names — often iden- 
tical with names of deities and their attributes — ^Names of nations 
and races so derived — allusive arms and examples ..... 105-115 






All heraldic emblems not prevalent alike in all countries — some en- 
tirely absent and others rare — Patterns and figures on cromlech 
slabs in Devonshire, Brittany, Ireland and Scotland — and on Teu- 
tonic, Scandinavian and Greek and Etruscati pottery — ancient Chi- 
nese vases and their inscribed figures — Symbols on the Sculptured 
Stones of Scotland — resemblances to those found in India — Extra- 
ordinary discovery of sculptured cromlechs in Ireland — The pre- 
ceding supposed to be tribal devices — Tatoo marks of Savages — 
Modes of acquiring and transmitting heraldib symbols in ancient 
and mediaeval times — 1. Inheritance. 2. Succession. 3. Adoption, 
Remarks on spurious and usurped armorial bearings in England — 
Heraldic devices have always been systematically used — Reasons 
for their discontinuance or limited use in some countries , , 116-144 



Supposed derivation firom the cohort-devices of the Romans — but this 
only in a slight degree — Insignia of the ancient Gauls and Germans 
more probable sources — Remains of Literature and Art in the early 
mediaeval period very scanty — Leges Sastiludidles concerning he- 
raldic ensigns in the 10th century — Reputed arms of the Saxon 
Heptarchy illustrated by coins and discussed — ^Reasons for believ- 
ing heraldry prevailed amongst the Anglo-Saxons — Absence of arms 
on Illuminated MSS. and other memorials considered — Analysis of 
the armorial figures in the Bayeux Tapestry — arguments founded 
thereon — Cotemporary literature and sepulchral monuments exa- 
mined * . . . i . . ' . 145-173 



[A detailed Index of this chapter is given at the end] * . • ; 174-211 




Absence of arms on early seals no proof of their non-existenoe— arjru- 
ments in support of this proposition — Mr. Blanche's work on He- 
raldry characterized — Articles on the " origin and Development of 
Coat- Armour *' by Mr. Nichols, Editor of the Herald and Genea- 
logist — Justification of "Theory and Conjecture" in heraldic in- 
quiries — Theories of the origin of Heraldic ordinaries and charges 
examined — Instances of armorial devices '* not on a shield ** — Arms 
on banners— inferences therefrom — Arms traced to the Conquest by 
an inverse deduction — Temp. Henry II, Heraldry as matured and 
as complex a science as a century later — Heraldry not a progres- 
sive Science like Architecture — Four theories noticed and refuted, 
viz 1. That arms were not hereditary till the 13th century : 2. That 
resembling arms were not derived from a common ancestor but from 
collateral kindred : 3. That Feudal Eelationship was the source of 
similar bearings : 4. That the Crusades extended the use of armo- 
rial devices and originated what are called ** Crusading symbols" — 
Comparison of Anglo-Norman with Irish and European armory— 
The assertion that Ancient and Modern IJeraldry were uncon- 
nected, noticed — Tribal and other devices of the early medieval 
period probably as numerous as the arms of European nobles of the 
present day — These supposed to constitute the " connecting link ** 
between the ancient and modem systems — Concluding observa- 
tions 212-252 



Opinion that various minds think alike, noticed — ^Eesults of animal 
instincts invariable, but not of mental labours — Inventions difficult 
and discoveries rare; proceed from the few, not the many — The 
inventive faculty much less exercised than the imitative — succes- 
sive inventions give a great superiority to the races acquainted with 
them — if the same inventions were of diverse origin, civilizatioiji 
would have been mdre rapid and not so varied — certain primaeval 
savages remain in a state of nature to this day — others have im- 
proved, and some of these degenerated — Conditions of the gradual 
amelioration of man and origin of improvements in his state — Di- 



versified character of progressive civilization — causes of this — The 
mass of mankind follow a beaten track : invention in literature and 
the arts proceeds from the few — Arguments from Analogy — germs 
of Heraldry like the roots of Language came from a common centre 
—How the elements of Heraldry spread and were developed — Facts 
in support of this view — Origin of ornamentation — Phallic and other 
symbols — Celtic ornamentation— Love of Beauty and practice of 
ornamental art descend from the cultivated to lower classes — ^Ex- 
amples and reasons 253-269 

Index of Bearers of the Arms, and Seals ; and of the Pedigrees in 
Chapter IX ; and a classified Blazonry of the Armorial Bearings 
throughout the work 270-276 


PLATE I. (to faceup. 168). 

Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 : Banners and Heraldic figures of the 10th century (p. 

Figure 6 : Banner presented by the Pope to Charlemagne (p. 148). 
Figures 6 to 20 : Standards and Shields from the Bayeux Tapestry (p. 


PLATE IL (to face p. 158). 

Figures 1 to 11 : From Greek coins ([p. 35). 

Figure 12 : Eeverse of a Coin of Italia (Akerman's Numis. Manual, pi. x. 

fig. 59). 
Figure 13 : Eeverse of a coin of Hadrian "Dacia Capta" (Ihid* fig. 38 — ). 
Figures 14 to 30 : From Anglo-Saxon coins (p. 158). 

PLATE in. (to face p. 7). 

Figures 1 and 2 : Assyrian shields (p. 7) from Layard. 

Figures 3 and 4 : Assyrian shields (p. 7) from Botta. 

Figures 5 to 10 : Shields and Banners from Moor's Hindoo Pantheon (p. 


PLATE IV. {to face p. 26). 

Figures 1 to 14 : From sculptured Mexican stones, figured in vol iv. of 

Lord Kingsborough's Antiquities of Mexico. 
Figures 15 to 26 : l^blets from monolithic idols in Lord Kingsborough's 

and Mr. Stephen's works (p. 26). 

PLATE V. {to face p. 167). 

Figure 1 : Seal of Stephen Earl of Richmond qui obit 1137 (p. 176). 

Figure 2: Seal of Geffry de Chateaubriant, 1217 (p. 176). 

Figure 3 : Counterseal of the same, 1199 (p. 176). 

Figure 4: Shields from St. John's church, Winchester (p. 167). 

Figure 5 : Shields from Christchurch, Oxford (p. 167). 

Figure 6 : Shields from Canterbury Cathedral (p. 167). 


PLATE VI. {tof(u;ep, 74). 


PLATES Vn. AND YIIT. {to face p. 142). 
COHOBT-BKSIGNS FBOM THB NotiUa Imperii by Pancibollus. 

PL. Til. 

Fig. 1 : Gallicani. 

Fig. 2 : Balistarii Theodosiaci. 

Fig. 3 : Thaanni. 

Fig. 4 : Mauritonantes. 

Fig. 6 : Propugnatores. 

Fig. 6 : Britannici (i?. note to p. 47). 

Fig. 7 : Prima-Flaviagensea. 

Fig. 8 : Constantiani. 

Fig. 9 : Mettiaci Ascarii sen : 

Fig. 10 : Prima Mazimiana. 

Fig. 11 : Constantiani Dafnenses. 

Fig. 12 : Constantiaci. 

Fig. 13 : Prima Gallica. 

Fig. 14 : Undecimani. 

Fig. 15: Manriosiomiaci. 


Fig. 1 : Constantia. 

Fig. 2 : Qaarti Theodosiani. 

Fig. 3 : Mauri feroces. 

Fig. 4 : Falconarii. 

Fig. 5 : Martiarii juniores. 

Fig. 6 : Divitenses Gallicani. 

Fig. 7 : Traces. 

Fig. 8 : Jovianii. 

Fig. 9 : Jovii. 

Fig. 10 : Cetrati juniores. 

Fig. 11 : Marcomanni. 

Fig. 12 : Honoriani. 

Fig. 13 : Vindices. 

Fig. 14 : Celtfie. 

Fig. 15 : ComutL 

PIfATE IX. {to face p. AJ^). 
Figures 1 to 12 : Cohort-Ensigns &om Trajan's Column. 

PLATE X. {to face p, 46). 

Figures 1, 2, 3 : Boman Legionary Ensigns, from Montfaucon. 
Figures 4 to 9 : From the Arch of Orange. 

Figures 10, 11, 12 : Legionary ensigns from Stones on Antonine's Wall 
&. 47). 

PLATE XI. {to face p, 38). 


PLATE XII. {to face p, 42). 


PLATE XIII. {to face p. 18). 


Figures 1, 2, 3 : Ancient Greek Head Dresses (p. 18). 
Figure 4 : Shield, leopard's face between two serpents (p. 39). 


Figure 6 : Shield, Two Leopards. (Greek Vase, Brit. Museum.) 
Figure 6 : Hehnet of Greek Warrior with Chequy pattern (p. 18). 
S^gure 7 : Shield, a Band fretty between two quails. (Greek Vase, Brit. 

Figure 8 : Head Dress, of Syrian King, exhibiting a Star between two 


PLATE XIV. (to face p. 121). 

Figures 1 to 9 : Pre-historic devices (p. 118-12S). 
Figures 10 to 13 : From ancient Chinese vases (p. 124). 

PLATE XV. {to face p. 1&7). 

AEM8 ON SEALS 1160-1200. 

Figure 1 : Chequy : Waleran Earl of Mellent (p. 178-9). 

Figure 2 : Three Bends between three Bendlets wavy (p. 188). 

Figure 3 : Vaire a bendlet : Bobert de Gouviz (p. 188). 

Figure 4 : Six EoseS, 3, 2, 1 : Wm. Bacon (p. 189). 

Figure 5 : A Bend between a Cinqfoil and Key : Ealph de Perteville (p. 

188). ^ , . 

Figure 6 : Gyronny of eight : Jeanne Dame de Carouges (p. 189). 
Figure 7: Three Bars between six Roundels, 3, 2, 1 : De Humeto(p. 190). 
Figure 8: A Bend between six Sheila : Hugo Guarin (p. 188). 
Figure 9 : Chevronny : Countess of Lincoln (p. 185). 
Figure 10 : Six Swallows : De Arundel (p. 187). 
Figure 11 : Three Mullets on a Chief : Earl of Eu (p. 193). 
Figure 12 : A Fess chequy : Fitz Alan (p. 209). 
Figure 13: Two Lions passant : Gervase Paganell (p. 192). 
Figure 14 : A Cinqfoil ermine : Earl of Leicester (p. 196). 
Figure 15 : Three Bars : Sir Alan FitzBrian (p. 193). 
Figure 16 : A Fess between two Chevrons : Robert Fitzwalter (p. 200). 
Figure 17 : A Fess lozengy between six Roundels : D'Aubign6 (p. 192). 
Figure 18 : Six escutcheons charged with six Mullets : De Mayenne (p. 

Figure 19 : Lozengy : Pierre de Bain (p. 191). 
Figure 20 : Six escutchedns, 3, 2, 1 : 

PLATE XVI. {to face p, 189). 

ABMS ON SEALS, 1150-1200. 

Figure 1 : Three Roundels : De Courtenay (p. 188). 

Figure 2 : Three Chevrons : De Clare (p. 177). 

Figure 3 : Quarterly : De Mandeville (p- 210). 

Figure 4 : Three Annulets : Hasculfus Musard (p. 192). 

Figure 5 : Three Leaves : Odo Burnard (p. 193). 

Figure 6 : Barry Pily : Earl of Gloucester (p. 197). 

Figure 7 : Three Leopards rampant : Roger de Creuillv (p. 191). 

Fieure 8 : Three Fleurs de lis : Robert de Crevequer (p. 193). 

Figure 9: Three Crescents and a Chief; over all a Cross lieurdelisfee : 

Pontchastneau (p. 191). ^,. , , j /^ ,. i / io;i\ 

Figure 10 : Vaire or Mascally : Michael de Cantelu (p. 194). 


Fijfure 11 : A Chief ermine: Walter de Hevre (p. 194). 

Figure 12 : A Cross moline and eight Fleurs de lis : Gefiry de Baileul, 

(p. 194). 
Figure 13: Chevronny : Countess of Lincoln (p. 185). 
Figure 14 : Nine Billets : Earl of Strathem (p. 194). 
Figure 15 : Chequy, a Chief ermine : Eobert de Tateshall (p. 192). 
Figure 16 : On a Bend, a Sword between six Martlets : Eoger Seneschal 

of Mellent, 1174: (Millin, Antiquit^s Nationales, Paris 4to 1792, art. 

Figure 17 : A Maunche crusilly : Koger de Conyers (p. 178). 
Figure 18 : Seyen Mascals, croisett^ : Wm. de Bomara (p. 186). 
Figure 19 : Three fern Leaves, a Bend over all : Wm. de Fougeres (p. 

Figure 20 : Three Lions rampant : De Lambertville (p. 189). 

PLATES XVn. AND XYIIL {to face p. 193). 


Figure 1 : Three Bars ; Adam de Bending, 1225. 

Figure 2 : Three Buckles ; Bobert de St. John, circa 1200. 

Figure 3 : Vaire or Mascally ; Michael de Cantelu, circa 1200. 

Figure 4 : A Cross Moline between Eight Fleurs de lys ; Greffiry de BaUeul, 

circa 1200. 
Figure 5 : A Chief ermine ; William de Hevre, circa 1200. 
Figure 6 : Chequy, a Fish in pale ; Fobert de Dovor, circa 1180. 

[The wood cuts of these Seals were obligingly lent by the Council of 

the Kent Archseological Society.] 

PLATE XIX. {to face p. 15). 

Figure 1 : Floral (P honeysuckle) ornament inscribed with Chevrons, from 

Assyrian B«mains (p. y). 
Figures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 : Japanese Flags, from Tablets printed in Colours in 

the South Kensington Museum. 

PLATE XX. {to face p. 25). 

Figures 1 to 18 : Coloured Shields and Banners of the Ancient Mexicans, 
(from Lord Kingsborough's work). 

[One specimen only of these is given, but many of the shields are fre- 
quently repeated with a different arrangement of colours.] 

*^* For the drawings of all these plates (except 17 and 18) I am 
indebted to my friend Alfred Shelley Ellis Esq., who unites with his 
professional skill as an architect, the unusual accompaniment of a 
thorough and enlightened knowledge of Heraldry ; and also for 
many valuable suggestions throughout the work. 


antiquities of ^eralirg. 




Pictorial representations of visible objects and of actions, 
after oral £scourse, constituted the earliest mode of 
communication employed by the primitive races of man- 
kind.* A selection of these pictures of common objects 
eventually took the form of the letters of the Alphabet 
(except in the Chinese characters, and the Egyptian 
Hieroglyphics.) But alphabetic writing, being known 
and understood by the few only, picture-writing was still 
the only mode of appeal to the understanding of the 
many.f The use of distinctive standards in an army for 

* In the British Museum amongst the geological remains collected 
from the valley of the Dordogne, are some good representations of a 
reindeer's head and other objects carved in bone of the pre-historic 
period. Some better and more striking illustrations are met with in 
the Christy Collection. 

t Mr. King in his work on Antique Oemi has the following 
appropriate observations : " Signet Eings are not mentioned by 
Homer. The signet of Pharaoh was given to Joseph as a mark of 
investiture. The signet of Judah was given as a royal pledge. The 
Temple of Belus was sealed Tdth the royal signet. * * The Eed 
Indian has the mark of his nation and that of the individual (his 
totem) to identify his property or his game, — the South Sea islander 
the tatooed pattern (amoco) that distinguishes his family impressed 
upon his skm. These simple signets preceded hy a long space the 
invention of hiero(/h/phics, or any arbitrary signs for denoting ideas : 



its various divisions, and to denote the place of its 
leaders, must have been an early necessity in the art of 
war. The employment of different coloured materials for 
banners, and of the figures of emblematical animals and 
objects on standards, thus naturally, indeed necessarily 
arose. This use of symbols would extend to those early 
appliances of warfare, the shield and the helmet. Sym- 
bols that, thus had been associated with victory and 
renown would become cherished and sacred, and hence 
would be introduced in religious rites and ceremonies. 

In this way doubtless originated, and afterwards was 
developed that multifarious assemblage of symbols and 
devices which are found connected with War and Keligion 
in all ages and countries ; which have been the rallying 
points and guiding stars of armies and peoples ; for which 
nations have fought and suffered ; which have influenced 
their destinies, and enslaved their minds; excited their 
fiercest animosities, and kindled their warmest enthu- 

It is these emblems historically deduced and classified, 
according to Nations, and Kaces and Families, which 
constitute the Science of Heraldry in the largest accep- 
tation of the word. It is accordingly its province to 
trace their use through succeeding ages, to investigate 
their origin, to ascertain by whom, on what occasions, and 
how they were employed, and what rules and conditions 
governed their adoption in different times and countries. 

The information to be obtained jfrom ancient writers con- 
cerning representative Devices is comparatively scanty : 
coins, vases, gems and sculptured monuments furnish us 
with the most extensive as well as the most certain know- 
ledge on the subject. 

The earliest known record is to be found in the Bible, 
where we read (Numbers ii. 2) ^' Every man shall pitch 

for the earliest Assyrian cylinders have nothing but rude figures cut 
upon them, and bear none of those cuneiform inscriptions so 
frequently added to the design upon those of later date. And this 
later date is yet prior by some centuries to the first appearance of 
any thing like an engraved stone amongst the first civilized nations 
of Europe," 


by his own standard with the ensign of his father's 

The following explanatory note on this text is taken 
from the Pictorial Bihle'^ and embodies information on 
the subject in general that may be fitly introduced at 
this early stage of our inquiry. 

The invention of standards is attributed by ancient authors to the 
Egyptians ; and this with great probability, as they had the earliest 
organized military force of which we have any knowledge ; we may 
therefore feel tolerably certain that the Hebrews had the idea of at 
least the use of ensigns from the Egyptians, for it is not at all likely 
that the small body of men which originally went down into Egypt 
had any such articles, or any occasion for tnem. Diodorus informs 
us that the Egyptian standards consisted of the figure of an animal 
at the end of a spear. Among the Egyptian sculptures and paintings 
there also appear other standards, which either resemble at top a 
round-headea table knife, or an expanded semicircular fan. These 
latter are attributed to the Grseco-Egyptians : but we are unable to 
find any satisfactory data to show that they were other than varieties 
of most ancient Egyptian standards. The early Greeks employed 
for a standard a piece of armour at the end of a spear ; but Homer 
makes Agamemnon use a purple veil with which to rally his men. 
The Athenians afterwards, in the natural progress which we observe 
in the history of ensigns, adopted the olive and the owl ; and the other 
G-reek nations also displayed the effigies of their tutelary gods, or 
their particular symbols, at the end of a spear. Some of them had 
simply the initial letter of their national name. The ancient Persian 
standard is variously described. It seems properly to have been a 
golden eagle at the end of a spear, fixed upon a carriage. They also 
employed the figure of the sun, at least on great occasions, when the 
king was present with his forces. Quintus Curtius mentions the 
figure of the sun, inclosed in crystal, which made a most splendid 
appearance above the royal tent. We therefore presume it was the 
grand standard, particularly as even at this day, when Mohammed- 
anism has eradicated most of the more peculiar usages of the Persians, 
the sun continues to divide with the lion the honour of appearing on 
the royal standard. Among the very ancient sculptures at Perse- 
polis, we discover specimens of other standards. One sort consists 
of a staff terminated in a divided ring, and having below a transverse 
bar, from which two enormous tassels are suspended. The other 

* The author of the article " Standards " in Kitto's Bible Ency- 
clopaedia, is Lieut. Col. C. Hamilton Smith, K. H. President of the 
Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, who says in a note 
that he intends to publish a volume on the subject, the result of 
several years* investigation, with many hundred drawings, which "will 
show how much nations, religious opinions, laws, authority, civiliza- 
tion and war, were influenced by the use of signs and symbols." 



consists of five globular forms on a cross bar. They were doubtless 
of metal, and probably had some reference to the heavenly bodies, 
which were the ancient objects of worship in Persia. The proper 
royal standard of that country, however, for many centuries, until 
the Mohammedan conquest, was a blacksmith's leather apron, around 
which they had at one time been rallied to a successful opposition 
against the odious tyranny of Zahawk. Many national standards 
have arisen from similar emergencies, when that which was next at 
hand being seized and lifted up as a rallying poiat for the people, 
was afterwards, out of a sort of superstitious gratitude, adopted 
either as the cotnmon ensign, or the sacred banner. Thus also 
originated the horse-tails of the modem Turks, and the bundles of 
hay at the top of a pole which formed the most ancient Roman 
standard, as mentioned ia the following extract from the Intro- 
duction (p. 54) of Dr. Meyrick's splendid work on 'Ancient Armour:' 
— " Each century, or at least each maniple of troops, had its proper 
standard and standard-bearer. This was origiaally merely a bundle 
of hay on the top of a pole ; afterwards a spear, with a cross-piece 
of wood at the top, sometimes with the figure of a hand above, 
probably in allusion to the word manipulus, and below, a small round 
or oval shield, generally of silver or of gold. On this metal plate 
were usually represented the warlike deities. Mars or Minerva ; but, 
after the extinction of the commonwealth, the effigies of the emperors 
and their favourites : it was on this account that the standards were 
called numina legionum, and held in rehgious veneration. The stan- 
dards of different divisions had certain letters inscribed on them to 
distinguish the one from the other. The standard of a legion, 
according to Dio, was a silver eagle with expanded wings, on the top 
of a spear, sometimes holding a thunderbolt ia its claws ; hence the 
word aquila was used to signify a legion. The place for this stan- 
dard was near the general, almost in the centre. Before the time of 
Marius figures of other animals were used. The vexillum, or flag 
of the cavalry, was, according to Livy, a square piece of cloth, fixed 
to a cross bar at the end of a spear." These flags had sometimes 
fringes and ribands, and were used less restrictedly than Dr. Meyrick 
seems to state. The divisions of a legion had also their particular 
ensigns, sometimes simply attached to the end of a spear, but some- 
times fixed below the images. An infantry flag was red : a cavalry 
one, blue; and that of a consul white. As to the hand on the Eoman 
standard, we may observe that at this day the flag-staff* of the Persians 
terminates in a silver hand, as that of the Turks does in a crescent. 
After Trajan's conquest of the Dacians, the Romans adopted as a 
trophy the dragon, which was a general ensign among barbarians. 
The dragons were embroidered in cotton, silk, or purple. Mention 
is also made oi pinna, which seem to have been aigrettes of feathers 
of different colours, intended for signals or rallving points. Animals 
also, fixed upon plinths, with holes through them, are often found ; 
and were ensigns intended to be placed upon the ends of spears. 
After this rapid glance at ancient standards, it remains to ask, to 
which of all these classes of ensigns that of the Hebrews approached 
the nearest ? We readily confess that we do not know : but the 


Eabbins, who profess to know everytliing, are very particular in their 
information on the subject. They leave out of view the ensigns 
which distinguished the subdivisions of a tribe, and confine their 
attention to the tribe standards : and in this it will be well to follow 
their example. They by no means agree among themselves ; the 
Eabbins suppose that the standards of the Jewish tribes were flags, 
bearing figures derived from the comparisons used by Jacob in his 
final prophetic blessing on his sons. Thus they have Judah repre- 
sented by a lion, Dan by a serpent, Benjamin by a wolf, etc. But 
as long since observed by Sir Thomas Browne (* Vulgar Errors,' 
book 5, ch. 10) the escutcheons of the tribes, as determined by these 
ingenious triflers, do not in every instance correspond with any 
possible interpretation of Jacob's prophecy, nor with the analogous 
prophecy of Moses when about to die. The later Jews were of 
opinion that, with respect to the four grand divisions, the standard 
of the camp of Judah represented a lion ; that of Reuben, a man ; 
that of Joseph, an ox ; and that of Dan, an eagle ; this was under 
the conception that the appearance in the cherubic vision of Ezekiel 
alluded to this division. The Targumists, however, believe that the 
banners were distinguished by their colours, the colour for each 
tribe being analogous to that of the precious stone, for that tribe, in 
the breast-plate of the high priest ; and that the great standard of 
each of the four camps combined the three colours of the tribes 
which composed it. They add, that the names of the tribes appeared 
on the standards, together with a particular sentence from the law ; 
and were moreover charged with appropriate representations, as of 
the lion for Judah, etc. Aben Ezra and other Eabbins agree with 
the Targumists in other respects, but put in other representa- 
tions than the latter assign. Lastly the Cabbalists have an opinion 
that the bearings of the twelve standards corresponded with the 
months of year, and the signs of the zodiac — ^the supposed characters 
of the latter being represented thereon ; and that the distinction of 
the great standards was, that they bore the cardinal signs of Aries, 
Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, and were also charged with each one 
letter of the tetragrammaton, or quadriliteral name of God. 

Thus much for Rabbinical interpretation. Most modern exposi- 
tors seem to incline to the opinion that the ensigns were flags, dis- 
tinguished by their colours, or by the name of the tribe to which each 
belonged. This is certainly as probable in itself as anything that 
can be offered ; unless the instances we have given from the early 
practice of other nations do not lead to the conclusion that flags 
were not the earliest but the ultimate form which standards as- 
sumed. We have in most instanced seen them preceded by any ob- 
ject that would serve for a distinguishing mark — such as leathern 
aprons, wisps of hay, pieces of armour, and horsetails ; then by me- 
tallic symbols and images, combined sometimes with feathers, tassels, 
and fringes ; and then plain or figured flags of linen or silk. Be- 
sides, the interpretation we have cited is founded on the hypothesis 
that all sculpture, painting, and other arts of design were forbidden 
to the Hebrews ; and as we are not quite prepared to admit the 
existence of such a prohibition, we do not feel absolutely bound, 


unless on its intrinsic probability, to receive an explanation which 
takes it for granted. 

The monumental and other remains of the Egyptians 
and Assyrians are the next, and equaUy early, if not earlier 
sources of our acquaintance with the emblems and de- 
vices used by these nations. Sir G. Wilkinson in his 
work on the Ancient Egyptians speaking of their armies 
says (i. 294) '' Each battalion, and indeed each company 
had its particular standard, which represented a sacred 
subject, a king's name, a sacred boat, an animal or some 
emblematical device^ And he informs us in another place 
(i. 332) " Among the arms painted in the tomb of Ea- 
meses III. is a piece of defensive armour, which seems 
to have been a sort of coat or covering for the body : it 
is made of a rich stuff worked or painted with the figures 
of lions or other animals^ devices common upon the shield 
and other parts of Greek armour, and is edged with a 
neat border." And Dr. Birch in his History of Pottery 
(i. 89) says that on the Egyptian vases were represented 
lions, emblems of Phtha and Pasht, the dog and jackal 
emblems of Anubis, cats, the emblems of Bast, the bull 
of Apis, the pig of Typhon, the hedgehog and hares, sa- 
cred animals of Osiris Anuphis, the vulture, emblem of 
Mut, ibis of Thoth, flowers, lotus, and papyrus." 

Sir G. Wilkinson, in his work on Egypt, says " Some 
of the oldest ceilings, as at a tomb near Osioot, show that 
the chevron (so common in Egyptian baskets and vases) 
together with the chequer as well as the scroll and guil- 
loche patterns, ascribed too hastily to the comparatively 
modern Greeks, were adopted in Egypt more than 2000 
years before our era." 

In another chapter will be mentioned examples from 
Assyrian monuments of almost all the figure-less patterns 
prevalent in mediaeval blazonry. That the Assyrians 
used also emblems of animals and significant objects and 
various sacred symbols, the plates and pages of Layard 
amply testify. The bull, the eagle, and the lion in 
colossal size, are well-known symbols of this people. 
Amongst the sacred emblems we find a cross precisely of 
the same form as sculptured on A. Saxon memorial stones 

_ \ 


and on stone coffin-lids ; a wheel, the crescent, star and 
cinqfoil. A shell or leaf ornament is frequent, within 
which are 5 chevrons, and the chevron ornament is 
everywhere embroidered on the robes of the King. In 
Plate 27 of Layard's folio work, there occur on a shield^ 
a mullet, a crescent, and a cinqfoil. In Plate 31, on a 
shield, are a mullet pierced^ 6 roundels and a crescent. 
Amongst the painted bricks of Nineveh is one on which 
are represented two warriors with bhie shields^ edged by 
a band of alternate squares of blue and yellow [heraldi- 
cally, azure^ a hordure gohonated^ or and azure],* On an- 
other the greaves of a warrior are coloured blue, yellow, 
and white.f 

The devices on the Assyrian cylindrical seals more 
generally represent actions than single objects. Of the 
latter Dr. Birch { mentions Terra Cotta Deeds, sealed 
with cylindrical seals, made of chalcedony, cornelian, etc., 
one being a bull's head couped, another the figure of 
apparently a horse. 

But it is in India where the evidences of symbolism 
amongst the Asiatics are mo^t abundant, most varied, 
and of a kind showing the strongest affinity to mediaeval 
blazonry. From the plains of Central Asia, from the 
land of the Hindoo, originated those sacred emblems, 
those military ensigns — ^the germs of religious worship, — 
the ideas, the language, the multifarious mythologies, § 
and most of the arts and customs which have overspread 
both hemispheres, and surely testify that the dominant 
races of mankind sprang from one source and one 

* In the sculptures of Khorsabad the round shield is often highly 
ornamented. It resembles both in shape and the devices upon it, 
the bucklers now carried hy the Kurds and Arabs, (Layard's Ni- 
ne7eh, ed. in 2 vol. ii. 345.) 

t Discoveries in Nineveh and Babylon, by A. H. Layard, 1853, p. 

X Hist, of Pottery i. 115. 

§ The evidence which the Science of Comparative Mythology fur- 
nishes for the unity of the human race seems at present to be in 
advance of that which is afforded by the science of language. On 
no other supposition can we explain the wealth of legends common 
to Greek Teuton and Norsemen with the negro tribes of equatorial 
Africa, (Edinburgh Eeview Jan. 1862, p. 101.) 


land, from the great primitive Aryan race,* progenitors of 
the Celtic, Teutonic, and other nations. Colonel Tod's 
learned and elaborate work on the Annals of Rajahstan 
may perhaps be first fitly examined, as containing nu- 
merous notices of the existence of armorial symbols in 
ancient India. Speaking of ^^ the martial Eajpoots " 
(i. 137) this author remarks that they " are not stongers 
to armorial bearings. The great banner of Mewarf ex- 
hibits a golden sun on a crimson field; those of the 
chiefs bear a dagger. Amber displays tiie pm-changra 
or five-coloured flag. The Lion rampant on an argent 
field is extinct with the state of Chanderi. The use of 
armorial bearings among the Bajpoot tribes can be traced 
anterior to the War of Troy. In the Mahabharat or 
Great War 1200 b.c. we find the hero Bheesama exult- 
ing over his trophy, the banner of Arjoona, its field 
adorned with the figure of the Indian Hanuman (mon- 
key deity). In Eajpootana the feudal system existed, 
analogous to that in mediaeval Europe, and had its inci- 
dents, — ^military service, escuage, fiefs and sub-infeudation 
(i. 128). The peacock was the favourite armorial emblem 
of the Eajpoot warrior ; it is the bird sacred to their 
Mars (Kamara) as it was to Juno his mother in the west 

* " The heraldry of Europe has evidently derived its origin from 
the east, and it was intimately associated with religion and super- 
stition. Maurice observes that by the same hardy race — the de- 
scendants of the Tartar tribes, which tenanted the north of Asia — 
were introduced into Europe armorial bearings, which were origi- 
nally nothing more than hieroglyphical symbols, mostly of a reli- 
gious allusion, that distinguished the banners of the potentates of 
Asia. The eagle belongs to the ensign of Vishnoo, the bull to ihat 
of Siva, and the felcon to that of Eama. The sun rising behind a 
recumbent lion blazed on the ancient ensign of the Tartars, and the 
eagle of the sun on that of the Persians. The Humza, or famous 
goose, one of the incarnations of Boodha, is yet the chief emblem of 
the Burman banners. GWie Russians, no doubt, had their standard 
from the eastern nations ; it is the type of Garuda. The Islamites 
took the crescent, a fit emblem of a rising or declining empire and 
of their primeval worship.*' — ^From a paper read at a Meeting of the 
Eoval Asiatic Society, March 19, 1835, (Gent's Mag., April, 1835, 
p. 415). 

t The princes of Mewar were the legitimate heirs of the throne 
of Eama, first of the 36 Eoyal Tribes (i. 211). 


(i. 51). The emblem of Vishnu is Qaruda, or the Eagle, 
and the Sun-God both of the Egyptians and Hindoos is 
typified with the eagle's head. Chrisna was of the cele- 
brated tribe of Yadu, the founder of the 36 tribes, who 
obtained the universal sovereignty of India, and lived 
about 1200 B.C. These 36 tribes had their respective 
emblems, as the Serpent, the Horse, Hare, etc. Budha 
was the chief deity until Chrisna was placed among the 
Gods, as an incarnation of Vishnu or the Sun. The 
Jains, the chief sect of the Budhists, were untinctured 
with idolatry until the apotheosis of Chrisna, whose 
mysteries superseded the simpler worship of Budha. 
Budha's descendants, the Indus, preserved the ophite 
sign of their race (the serpent) when Chrisna's followers 
adopted the eagle as their symbol. The serpent is alike 
the symbol of the Budha of the Indus, the Hermes of 
the Egyptians, and the Mercury of the Greeks. In 
Sanscrit the same word means Soul, Goose and Swan 
(i. 532). 

There were constant wars between the children of the 
Sun (Surya) and the Tak or Tak-sha (serpent) races. 
The buryas or sun-worshippers anterior in date to the 
Indus, worshippers of the moon (ind) as the migration 
of the latter from the central lands of Scythia* was an- 

* The Ionic Hellenes of Attica with their Apollo as worshippers 
of the Sun, stand in opposition to the ancient Pelasgi as worshippers 
of the Moon. In In^a the Pandus came forth victorious after a 
long struggle with the Kurus ; so in Attica the followers of Pan- 
dion proved in the end victorious over the Curetes in Crete. * * 
We can hardly doubt the moon worshippers were originally the 
ruling party in Attica, whereas the lonians introduced the worship 
of the Sun. In Attica as in other places the worship of the moon 
was long opposed to that of the sun, till at last they were peacefully 
united in the worship of Pallas and Apollo. (Lockhart's Attica and 
Athens y p. 129.) 

The fusion of the Solar and Lunar forms of worship in G-reece, 
though never complete, had yet left among the Hellenic population 
many doctrines and rites common to both. Notwithstanding, there 
ever remained a marked distinction between these races of wor- 
shippers, in nothing more clearly shown than in the opposite charac- 
teristics of the Spartans and Athenians, the deep seated cause of 
whose mutual jealousy reposed upon religious grounds as connected 
especially with the tribes of each. (Pococke's India in Greece, p. 


tecedent to that of the Agni-cula or Fire- worshippers of 
the Snake race clainung Tak-shae as their original pro- 
genitor. The Suryas, who emigrated both to the east 
and the west, may be considered the Celtic, as the Indu 
Gethee may be considered the Gothic races of India * ^ 
The Sauromatia or Sarmatians of early Europe, as well as 
the Syrians, were most probably colonies of the same 
Surya-vansi, who simultaneously peopled the shores of 
the Caspian and Mediterranean, and the banks of the 
Indus and the Ganges. Many of the tribes described 
by Strabo as dwelling around the Caspian are enume- 
rated amongst the 36 royal races of India. One of these 
the Sacaseni, supposed to be the ancestors of our own 
Saxon race, settled themselves on the Araxes in Armenia 
adjoining Albania.* * As early as the period of Kama, 
furious international wars were carried on between the 
military and sacerdotal classes for supremacy, the tribes 
of the Sacaseni being recorded as auxUiaries of the priest- 
hood, (i. 558.) 

These migrating tribes of course carried with them 
their respective emblems, and hence the identity of 
European with many of the Asiatic devices. 

The Journals of the Royal Asiatic Society furnish un- 
equivocal testimony to the existence of hereditary de- 
vices amongst the tribes of Hindostan. In vol. iv. (P. 
6) we have a paper on " Hindu Inscriptions'' by Walter 
EUiott Esq. 

" Most of these Inscriptions ^ he remarks " are engraved on great 
slabs of stone ; others are cut on the pillars of temples ; a few are 
taken from deeds engraven on sheets of copper. * * The plain slabs 
have generally a few symbols engraved above the commencement of 
the inscription. In the right comer is the sun, in the left is the 
moon. Below the sun is sometimes found the peculiar ensign or 
symbol of the party making the grant. Thus the Chalukyas carry 
the figure of a boar, which was their ensign or signet, and the Ta- 
davas are often distinguished by the representation of a crooked 
knife or dagger. Underneath the moon is a cow and a calf. In the 
centre is the chief object of worship of the grantor. The Chalukyas 
being followers of Siva have the lingam in this situation. * * But 
most of the grants having been made by individuals of humble rank, 
they represent some symbol peculiar to them, together with the 
Ling or a Jain deity. A grant by a Zemindar of Nagavansa in Saka 
912 (the era of Saka commenced a.d. 79) exhibits under a represen- 


tation of the Sun a cobra-di capello snake, a lingam in the centre, 
and the cow and calf under that of the moon." 

A deed is engraved on a plate of copper with the 
figure of a boar^ the distinctive symbol or seal of the 
Chalukyas family,* the oldest race in the records of the 
Dekkan, which device was subsequently adopted by the 
Kings of Vijayanagar. The date of this plate is 609, 
A.n. Lands are stilly on similar metallic deeds, granted 
by them, bearing the same effigy on the seal. 

The ensigns of Bijala reigning at Kalyan over the 
Karuatakdes, were the Lion, the Bull, and the Goose 
(iv. 20), 

Simha Deva Yadu Aprina styles himself a Garuda 
(eagle) to the Serpent-like Bhoja, lord of Pannola. It is 
remarkable that the Yadu and the Silahara had adopted 
the golden garuda on their ensign, which the prince seems 
unwilling to allow to his feudatory (P. 34). 

Vir Yikraunnca of the Eattas family is styled the 
great lord of XJjjayani-pur with the Banian-Tree Signet 
(P. 37). 

The Eattas Tribe had the Elephant signet, and the 
golden hawk and crocodile ensign (iv. 37). 

The ensign of the lords of Tagarapursa country bore 
a golden eagle (ii. 385). 

On the images at Masar is the lion rampant, a com- 
mon badge of Gautama, f 

A hynm to Camdeva the God of Love has the line — 

Hail Warrior with a fish on thy banner. % 

Coins afford abundant as well as authentic information 
concerning ancient symbols. 

* In the Inscriptions recorded when thej were at the height of 
their power the white canopy, the boar signet, the peacock-fan, the 
royal mace, and the golden sceptre only are mentioned. Of these 
the boar ensign was the most celebrated, and was the symbol inva- 
riably represented on their money and on their seals, sometimes in 
the latter accompanied by a conch shell, the drum, the peacock-fan 
and other insignia, as a lotus, an ankus or elephant goad, candelabra, 
a seat, a stool, etc., and on those of later date a sword. (Journ. of 
Eoyal Asiatic Soc. i. 255.) 

t Montgomery Martin's Hist, of India i. 415. 

X Col. Tod's work i. 577. 


There are coins found in Upper India having the de- 
vice of a Boar. This was used by 'the Eajahs of the 
Vijyanagar race on their gold coins. The Varahas were 
a powerful Indo-Scythic tribe to the west of Jesalmer. 
They took their name from varaha (a boar) which was 
one of the Incarnations of Vishnu.* The Horse occurs 
on Hindoo Coins, and on Coins of Bactria and Ceylon.f 
It occurs also on some of the coins of the Sak Kings 
(Kadphises) of Surashtra.J This royal race also made 
use of other emblems. On the reverse of one of their 
coins is the figure of a Bull recumbent, identical in 
every respect with the seal symbol of the Vahabhi fa- 
mily as found on their copper-plate Grants. § Professor 
Wilson thinks some coins of Kadphises B.C. a few years, 
with a Sivalic figure, trident and bull on them, are of a 
Hindu type ; but the taurine figure is common to the 
Grecian, Celtic, and Buddhist as well as to the Hindu 
systems, and is repeatedly met with on coins with indis- 
putably Buddhist emblems. Coins of Ceylon Amavati, 
Indo-Sassanian, Indo-Scythic and Kadphises coins even 
have the monograms or emblems which are found in the 
Buddhist caves.|| 

It was the custom of the Eastern Conquerors, in Cen- 
tral Asia at least, to adopt the types of the money of the 
countries subdued. It has been shown (xvii. 190) that 
the Kliwarizmis, in imitation of their immediate predeces- 
sors the Ghoris, made use of the devices of the Horseman, 
first introduced by the Brahman kings of Kabul, but 
they also appropriated, subject to but slight modification, 
the Bull of the Hindoo prototype.** 

On a Buddhist temple in China, an ox is sculptured 
on one pillar, and on another a wheel. The wheel and 
Bull appear on the numerous Buddhist coins from Aff- 
ghanistan, Canory, Ongein, and Gujarat.ff 

* Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (iv. 672). 

t 75«W., p. 626. 

X Journal of the Eoyal Asiatic Society (xii. 26). 

§ Ihid. (xii. m), 

II 76/^. (vi. 285). 

** lUd. (ix. 381). ft Hid. (vi. 295). 


Coins of Azas, the Bactrian king, exhibit the Elephant, 
the Bull, and the Lion — all Buddhist emblems.* 

The great golden bull adored at Meaco in Japan is in 
the attitude of butting against the egg of Chaos. The 
mundane egg of Heliopolis is surmounted by the cres- 
cent. The two principles of Persia are symbolized by 
two serpents contending for the mundane egg.f 

The Chinese have still a Temple called the Palace of 
the Bull, and the same symbol is worshipped in Japan, 
and all over Hindostan. The Cimbrians carried a brazen 
bull with them as the image of their God when they 
overran Spain and Gaul, and the name of the God Thor, 
the Jupiter of the Scandinavians, signified in their lan- 
guage a Bull as it does in the Chaldee. At XJpsal, in the 
great Temple, this God was represented with the head of 
a bull on his breast ; and on an ancient Phenician coin 
we find a figure exactly resembling the Jupiter of the 
Greeks, with the words Baal Thurz in Phenician charac- 
ters on the exergue. J 

The plates in Moor's Hindoo Pantheon^ giving repre- 
sentations from ancient Indian Temples and Tombs of 
the Hindoo Deities, exhibit more especially their mystic 
religious symbols, all or most of which have been trans- 
mitted as sacred through many ages and lands (though 
probably their real origin and meaning have been often 
forgotten) and have been employed in mediaeval blazonry, 
and extensively, as we shaU see, on the shields of the 
Greeks and Eomans. The sacred Bull, the Yoni, and 
Lingam (emblems of the reproductive organs, so common 
in India) everywhere appear, as do the lotus flower (the 
fleur de lis) and its form at the end of a spear (the tri- 
dent) and the cinqfoil. This latter appears sometimes as 
5 balls pyramid-wise, sometimes in a line, often a row of 
them forming a necklace or beads, the origin of the 
rosary, first of the Buddhists, and afterwards of the Eo- 
man Catholics.§ In Plate 21,5 roundels are placed on a 

* Numismatic Chronicle, W. Ser. (i. 75). 
t Maurice's Indian Antiquities. 

X Payne Knight's Enquiry into the Symbolical Language of An- 
cient Art and Mythology, p. 22. 
§ A medal found by i)r. Clarke in his travels in the ruins of 


circular shield which a warrior holds in his right hand, 
in his left being a sword, and a cinqfoil on his arms and 
breast. In PL 47, is a round shield with 4 cinqfoils. 
But 5 balls on a shield occur also in Plates 99 and 101. 
In Plate 80 is the figure of a Earn on a Banner. 

It is remarkable that the crescent rarely appears 
amongst these symbols, and the star or mullet not at all ; 
though both conjoined had a religious significance with 
the Assyrians and other nations. 

Camdeo the Hindoo God says Sir Wm. Jones (Transla- 
tions) was apparently the same as Eros and Cupid. He 
is represented attended by dancing girls or nymphs, the 
foremost of whom hears his colours^ which are a fish on a 
red ground. 

The ensign of the Hindoo Trinity, was, of Brahma a 
White Lion, of Vishnu a Blue Eagle, and of Siva a Eed 
Bull. Indra is seen on his Elephant, Brahma on a Goose 
and Siva on a Bull. 

In ancient China, a Duke or General and other high 
officers of state had each their standard ; those of the se- 
cond rank had one or more dragons depicted on their 

The nine grades of Mandarins, both civU and military, 
are distinguished by marks. The literary graduates have 
also their distinctive marks. The several orders of Man- 
darins are likewise distinguished by their habits. They 
wear a certain sort of surcoats, embroidered with birds and 
beasts of different kinds. The Mandarins wear likewise 
badges which distinguish their employments, containing 
a Dragon, Eagle, Sun, Leopards, Tigers, Lions, etc.f 

But it may well be conceived that in a country where 
there is now no hereditary aristocracy, whatever there 
might have been, as probably there was, in ancient times, 
heraldic distinctions transmitted from father to son would 
answer no purpose, and be significant of no rank or 

Citium and supposed to have been Phenician, exhibits the lamb, the 
cross and the rosary. (Higgins and O'Brien.) 

* Art. on Ancient Chinese Vases in Journal of Roy. Asiatic Soc. 
(i. 79). 

t Collection of Voyages and Travels 4 vol. 4to. 1747. 


honour. Accordingly the Chinese, so fond of etiquette, 
and punctilious in everything pertaining to their social 
hierarchy, distinguish their various orders and degrees in 
the state by decorations analogous to our orders of knight- 
hood. Mr. Davis in his work China and the Chinese (i. 
256) informs us : — 

The descendants of the Manehow family wear the yellow girdle.* * 
At the fall of the last Chinese dynasty a vast number of the ejected 
familjr dropped the yellow girdle. The descendants from collaterals, 
that IS, the orothers and uncles of the great Conqueror of the Man- 
chow dynasty, have the privilege of a red sash and bridle. Every- 
thing about their dress and equipage is subject to minute regula- 
tion. Some are decorated with the peacock*s feather, and others 
allowed the privilege of the green sedan.* * The true aristocracy 

of China, its official rulers, are of course a constantly fluctuating 




A COLOURED Baimer must have been one of the earliest 
as it was the simplest of Military Ensigns. These simple 
coloured Banners must, as tribes multiplied, have become 
parti-coloured by stripes and other linear divisions. The 
shield would be painted of the same pattern as the flag, 
and this pattern would eventually become a distinction 
in dress of one tribe or clan from another.* Of costume 
so characterized we meet with early Scriptural notices. 
We read of Joseph's " coat of many colours " and that 

* The distinctions produced by different colours have pervaded 
all the affairs of life, ancient s^d modem. They characterized the 
games of the Eoman Circus. The different factions of the Hippo- 
drome were distinguished by their colours of white, red, blue, and 
green: to these Domitian added yellow. The flag used by the 
Eoman infantry was red ; that by the cavalry blue, whilst that of a 
Consul was white. 

Matthew Paris informs us that in the Crusade under Richard 
Coeur de Lion and Philip Augustus, the [French were distinguished 
by red crosses, the English by white, and the Flemish by green. 

All maritime nations have always had certain marks, signs, or 
colours to distinguish their vessels. We read in Ezekiel (xxvii. 7) 
" Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou 
spreadest forth to be thy sail ; blue and purple from the isles of 
Elishah was that which covered thee." Plmy tells us that the stem 
and prow of trading vessels and men of war were without exception 
decorated with colours ; and at Athens, Corinth, and Sicyon, the pro* 
fession of ship-painters founded the famous school oi painters in 
those cities. The savages of the Pacific and South Seas made use 
of distinctive signs. Woven reeds were used for sails, and rushes 
for streamers, — -hence the word flag. 


" Mordecai went out of the presence of the King in royal 
apparel of blue and white."* 

In the paintings from Nineveh we meet with the 
parti-coloured patterns technically called in Heraldry, — 
Chevronny, Mascally, Chequy, Paly, Lozengy, Dancette 
and Fretty,t as well on cloaks or shawls and tunics, as in 

* Esther viii. 15. 

t The ornamentation on the arms, implements, and pottery of the 
Bronze Age is peculiar. It consists of geometrical patterns, straight 
lines, circles, triangles, zigzags, etc. Animals and vegetables are 
very rarely attempted, and never with much success. In the orna- 
mentation of the transition period, between the Bronze and Iron 
Ages, animals are frequently represented, but are very poorly exe- 
cuted, while the geometrical patterns are well done. Of the Iron 
Age, the character of the ornamentation is very unlike, and much 
more advanced than that of the Bronze Age. — Paper by Sir John 
Lubbock Bart, on " Primaeval Antiquities ** in Archaological Journal 
vol. 23. 

The zigzag ornament used so profusely in buildings of the Norman 
age is also found in buildings of the age of Diocletian.* * Almost 
every architectural ornament of the ancient Irish edifices has its 
counterpart in buildings of the most remote antiquity throughout 
the world.* * The chevron or zigzag ornament abounds among the 
ruins of America, as it does also in those of Ireland. It is found 
both straight and curved at Cormac's chapel, and is the commonest 
as well as richest ornament of Irish doorways. The pellet ornament, 
or balls, is also found adorning several buildings, from the plain 
specimens upon the most ancient churches, such as that of Temple 
Cronan, co. Clare, to the richly ornamented arch, such as the door- 
way of Aghadoe. They may also be seen adorning the stone doors 
in the Qiant Cities of Bashan. The curved spiral — an imitation of 
a twisted rope — is found on several ancient Irish crosses. — Keane'a 
Temples and Towers of Ireland, p. 284. 

The patterns used by the South Sea Islanders in tafooing their 
persons are not arbitrary or capricious ; neither are they modern. 
In the Journal of the Archcbological Association, vol. 3, is a paper by 
Mr. Lukis on the Cromlech of Gavr Innis in Brittany. The up- 
right slabs or props in this cromlech, when excavated were found to 
be nearly all characterized by incised lines, forming patterns resem- 
bling the tatooing of the New Zealander. There are three or four 
other cromlechs in Brittany which have such engraved patterns. But 
in the Channel Islands none of the cromlechs have any ornamental 
work about them. The New Zealanders, the writer remarks have 
each their peculiar marks or patterns of tatoo, which they call 
amoco ; and though they are unable to write, still they are able to 
design on each other's face the peculiar tatoo required; In volume 
4 of the same Journal is given an account of similar figures found 
in the cairn of New Grange in Ireland, being of a spiral and other 
patterns. These remarkable facts testify to the great, indeed pre- 




architectural ornament. They were all evidently of sa- 
cred or traditional meaning, especially the chevronny 
pattern, as much so as the lotus flower on an Indian 
Temple, or its modem form the Fleur de Hs, in mediaeval 

In Mr. Hope's work on Greek Costume we meet with 
some of these ; but they are comparatively rare, and evi- 
dently not used as fanciful ornaments, but as cherished 
patterns that imply a latent meaning. In vol. 1 Plate 
ii. 'we meet with the Dancette. In Plate 40 a Greek 
warrior has a Chequy band on his helmet. In Plate i2 
it is met with on the head-dress of a Greek lady. In 
Plate 68 we have the Chevronny pattern on a head-dress, 
and Lozengy on another.. At page 14 we are told that 
as regards the male attire of the people of Asia Minor 
their pantaloons were often made of rich and fine tissues 
embroidered or painted in sprigs, spots, stripes^ cheques^ 
zigzags^ lozevgea^ or other ornaments. 

historic antiquity, if not of the practice of tatooing, yet of the cus- 
tom of the early tribes of mankmd being distinguished by marks or 
patterns which were hereditary and transmitted to modem times; 
and moreover that the primaeval settlers of Brittany and Ireland are 
of the same or cognate race as the savages of the Antipodes. But 
that the custom of tatooing is as ancient as, if not identical with 
the known habit of historic barbarians in painting their bodies, there 
can be little doubt. We learn from Caesar and Pomponius Mela 
that it was a custom of the ancient Britons to stain their bodies an- 
tecedent to the Eoman settlement. Herodian says that "they 
puncture their bodies with pictured forms of every sort of animals." 
It is supposed that those of them in the South under the Eoman 
sway having given up the custom, the term ^icti (the painted) came 
to be applied to those in the North who continued the practice, 
towards the end of the third century ; and that the Boman name 
was perpetuated by the Welch, the Saxons, and the Irish in their 
various languages. Isidore a Spanish bishop of the 7th century 
attributes the name of Picts to the custom mentioned, which was 
denounced by the Christian preachers as a practice at once heathen 
and degrading to the human form. 

Court de Gebelin in his learned work 1,6 Monde Frimitif (tome 
viii.) states that M. Pelloutier "dans son * Histoire des Celtes' dit 
il est certain que la plupart des peuples Celtes, les Espagnols, 
les habitans de la Grande Bretagne, les Thraces, les Illyriens, les 
Daces, et plusieurs autres avoient la coutxime de tracer sur leurs corps 
des figures de toutes sortes d'animaux," but that the slaves were not 
so punctured. 



In Millin's work, Peintures des Vases Antiques (i. 1 11.) is 
figured a Greek warrior who has a circular shield, the 
surface of which is entirely a chequy pattern. 

The sails of the ancient Egyptian ships exhibit the 
chequered pattern in colours, with a border of the chev- 
ronny pattern. 

Polysenus (lib. iv. cap. 3 — quoted in Meyrick's great 
work on .Ancient Armour, p. ix.) says that in Persia, 
Alexander the Great had at his court 500 Persian 
Archers in different dresses of Yellow, Blue, and Scar- 
let, before whom stood 500 Macedonians with silver 

Amongst the ancient Irish, we find difference of colour 
employed in dress to distinguish one class fi'om another. 
The following remarks are illustrative of this : — 

"We possess unmistakeable evidence of our native population 
having adopted particular colours, of which deep yellow (crock) 
styled by English writers " Saffron** was the most prominent. The 
Four Masters, and also the Clonmacnoise Annalists attribute the 
art of dyeing particular clothes (the latter say purple, blue and 
green) to King Tighearumas, whose reign extended from a.m. 3580 
to 3656. And in the first of these authorities it is stated, under the 
year of the world, 3664, that his immediate successor King Eschaidh 
was sumamed Eadghadhach, because it was by him the variety of 
colour was first put on clothes [no doubt woollen] in Ireland to distin- 
guish the house of each by his garment, from the lowest to the 
highest. There was this distinction made between them, — one co- 
lour in the clothes of slaves ; two in the clothes of soldiers ; three 
in the clothes of goodly heroes or young lords of territories ; six in 
the clothes of ollavs (professors) ; seven in the clothes of kings or 
queens. In a MS. (H 2. 18) in Trinity College, it is added to the 
foregoing that all colours were used in the dress of a bishop. That 
there was a tartan or plaid like that used by the Highlanders of 
Scotland there is undoubted proof in the remains of costume pre* 
served in this collection. It appears to have been black and yellow or 
saffron colour, and probably each clan possessed a characteristic 
colour, and a plaid as well as a special dress. If we seek for docu- 
mentary evidence before the period of the Anglo-Norman Invasion, 
the earliest accessible authority on the subject of costume is the 
Booh of Rights, There, among the tributes paid by the different 
states or kingdoms of the Irish Pentarchy, we read of the cloak or 
brat, the outer garment of which the following varieties are speci- 
fied, — speckled cloaks, cloaks with white borders, red cloaks, blue 
cloaks, royal cloaks, green cloaks, purple cloaks, cloaks with golden 
borders, etc. (Gentleman* s Magazine, Nov. 1862: art. Antiquities 


in the Museum of the Eoyal Irish Academy — Mr. Wilde's Descrip- 
tive Catalogue.) 

BriJCf brok, braccha adopted by the Greeks and Latins is Q-othic, 
and signifies the break, breech, di^asion or fork of the body, and also 
the clothing called Breeches ; but the Gothic brak or bra^d from 
bregda to divide, change, variegate, and Danish broggeSy Swedish 
broJcuty Hebrew barudh, Arabic buruJCy abruJc, Celtic brik or brek de- 
note what is ornamented, variegated or striped. Birh-beuar the 
ancient name of a class of Gothic warriors was probably corrupted 
from bricJc'betiar, the soldiers with the striped hose, the same per- 
haps who in Irish history are called Bed- Shanks. The tartan dress 
worn by the Highlanders of Scotland is bryc and breccan in Welch 
and Insh ; like them too the Oalli bracchati or Helvetii may per- 
haps have followed this mode of marking their genealogical descent 
and family connections, and the chekered cealt of the Irish, the 
Gallic kiolt, Danish kilt, Teutonic kiolt, a lap or fold, being thus 
variegated and tucked round the thighs or loins was readily con- 
founded with the breeches. This costume is known to have ob- 
tained among the Scythians and Persians, who were also called 
Bracchati by the Romans. ( Observations on JEnglish Etymology, by 
John Thomson. J. Murray, 1818.) 

The diflferent chequy coloured patterns called plaids 
which distinguish the Scottish Clans may be traced au- 
thentically to the time of the Eomaiis. In the Arc/tao- 
loaia (xxi. 455) is an article '' On the Carvings on Stone 
discovered on the Line of Antonine's Yallum " represent- 
ing three Eoman soldiers, executed in bas-relief, two of 
whom are dressed in a plaid kilt. The figures are sup- 
posed to represent the Emperor Severus and his two 
sons. Mr. Skene in his work on the Highlanders of 
Scotland (i. 226) says that the highland garb is dis- 
tinctly figured in the 14th century ; and even in the 9th 
century the Duplin cross exhibits figures in this dress. 

This adherence to the chequy pattern in the ancient 
Highland dress is only similar to the tenacity with 
which peculiarities in costume have been maintained 
amongst all nations, especially by the lower classes* 

* The costume of the wild Lapps like that of the Cree Indians of 
North America and other savages is distinguished by the most 
lively hues, strongly contrasted. Their dress while it calls to mind 
the chequered plaid of the Highland Scotch may perhaps exhibit no 
unfaithral counterpart of Joseph's coat of many colours. (Clarke's 
Travels in Scandinavia, p. 406.) 

In Lucca all the women dressed precisely alike — in scarlet. At 


when it has been relaxed by the higher ; and is one of 
those means most surely relied on of tracing the origin 
and connection of different peoples. We can scarcely 
therefore refrain from believing that the Scottish plaid 
had its ultimate origin in the same source as that whence 
the cheqny pattern was derived which we find in Assy- 
ria, Egypt, and Greece. 

The ancient Gtinls too probably adopted or rather 
inherited the plaid pattern in their dress. Diodorus 
Siculus says of this people, ''Their garments are very 
strange, for they wear parti-coloured coats interwoven here 
and. there with divers sorts of flowers " [? diapering]. 
And according to Tacitus the shields of the ancient Ger- 
mans were parti-coloured. '' Scuta tantum he says lectis- 
simis colortbm distinguunt (De Mor. Ger. vi.) The word 
tantum excludes all figures and devices, and there can be 
little doubt that these shields were heraldically chequy, 
paly, etc., and probably were the originals of that class 
of European bearings, the most ancient and borne by the 
most princely houses, as Yermandois, Bavaria, Burgundy, 

Banners and shields of one colour without any device 
must have been among the earliest accessories of the art 
of war. Homer speaks of the purple banner of Agamem- 
non. We read* of Brutus with the blue shield who was 
said to be king of Britain B.C. 395 ; and Padarn with the 
Bed Coat.* Though these personages might have been 
mythical, the Bardic writers doubtless related a genuine 
custom. In the '' Heroic Elegies " Llywarch describes 
the Prince of Eeged as carrying a golden shield on his 
shoulder.f In the Anglo-Saxon Poem of Beowulf sup- 

Macerata the peasants observe an established uniform in dress, of 
which orange appears the prevailing colour. So constant are the 
women of this class to local costume that the female head becomes 
a kind of geographical index. (Forsyth's Excursion in Italy, pp. 
27, 325.) 

The peasantry in and around Elgersburg in G-ermany have for 
each parish a distinctive costume or colour for dress, at least had 
twenty years ago. 

* Archseologia Cambrensis i. 319. 

t Ibid iii. 102. 


posed to have been written in the 10th century we read 
"Then to Beowulf he gave a golden banner ; the sword 
of Healfdan, an ensign adorned in the hilt, a great sword 
with decorations."* It was one of Gutheling's laws 
that every one who possessed 6 silver marks should have 
a red shield.^ St. Oswald who fell fighting in defence of 
Christianity against Penda was buried at Bardney Abbey 
gorgeously enshrined with a banner of gold and purple 
suspended over his remains, f 

"The famous Oriflamme of France which always ap- 
peared at the head of the French armies, from the 12 th 
to the 15th century, was a square banner of flame- 
coloured silk, thus described by Guilaume Guiart : — 

Oriflajnine est line banniere 
Aucune soi plus fort que guimple, 
De cendal roujeant et simple 
Sans portraiture d'autre affaire. 

[The Oriflamme is a banner made of a silk stronger than guimp, 
it is of flaring cendal, and that simply without any figure upon it.] 

Its home during peace was the Abbey of St. Denis ; 
and it was entrusted by the sanction of that community 
to the Kings of France, who were graciously pleased to 
rank themselves as vassals of the Abbey in their capacity 
of Counts of the Vexin. 

At a later period, the Oriflamme ' was sometimes 
powdered with golden flakes of fire, as it is represented 
in the Indice Armorial of Louvain Geliot, folio, 1635, and 
there thus described : — 

L'Oriflambe estoit faite de sendal, c'est a dire de tafetas ou tissu 
de soys rouge, aucunefois semee de flames d'or, d*ou elle prenoit 
le nom d'Oriflambe. 

We read of a White Banner that was carried in the 
army of the Kings of England when they went in war 
against Scotland. The manor of Shome in Kent was 

* Sharon Turner's Hist, of England, iii. 303. 

t The Picts regarded with reverence the banner called Brech- 
annoch from its association with St. Columba their spiritual father. 
The keeper of this sacred relic had lands assigned to him for its 
custody. After King Oswald's translation "vexillum ejus super 
tumbam auro et purpure compositum adposuerunt. (Bede iii. 2) — 
Stuart's Stones of Scotland. 


held in capiie by the service of carrying it, in conjunc- 
tion with other tenants of the King. 

A shield of pure Gold was borne by the family of 
Menezes in Portugal, and a simple shield of Gules by 
the Viscounts of Narbonne. In the Salle des Croisades 
at Yersailles such a shield, de geules plein is placed for 
Aymery, first of the name, Yicomte de Narbonne, who 
died in the Holy Land about the year 1105 ; again for 
Eaymond Pelet, dit le Croise ; and a third time for 
Amanjeu II. sire d'Albret, both Crusaders under the 
command of the Count of Toulouse in 1096. 

The house of Albret, or la Brette, became Kings of 

The same entirely red banner appeared at the siege of 
Carlaverock in 1301, borne by a cadet of that family 
named Amaneus de la Brette, as he is styled in records 
of the time, or by the poet of the Expedition, Eurme- 

Mais Eurmenions de la Brette 
La baniere eus toute rougette. 

By the English Chronicler, Peter Langtoft, he is 
called " Sir Emery the Brette." His father had borne 
the same name (in Latin Amaneus) ; as did one who is 
supposed to have been his son ; for at the siege of Calais 
in 1346, there was a Sir Amayen la Brette, serving King 
Edward the third ; and he had then on his red shield 
the golden lion of England passant in chief, a distinction 
evidently derived from the long services which this 
family, originally from Gascoyne had rendered to the 
King of this country."* 

The Barons of Goumay in Normandy are said to have 
borne a simple shield of sable, f Parti-coloured shields 
of two colours only, without any charge were variously 
divided, as Quarterly, Gyronny, party per Pale, per 
Fess, per Chevron and per Bend; Paly, Barry, Bendy, 
Lozengy, Chequy etc. These forms were almost all origi- 
nally borne by great houses, and became infinitely varied 
and modified by their descendants, especially the quar- 

* Herald and Genealogist, iii. 7, 8. 

t Eecord of the House of Q-urney, 4to. 1848 p. 19. 


terly and chequy arrangements, the insignia respectively 
of the Earls of Vere and Warren. The renowned banner 
of the Templars called Bameant was Conp^ (or parted by 
fess) sable and argent. The division of the shield into 
three equal parts is unknown, at least in English He- 
raldry. The tricolor flag now used by many nations 
does not appear to have had an immediate heraldic ori- 

* The origin of the French tri-coloured flag is thus explained : — 
The immediate occasion for adopting them [the French Tri- 
colours — Blue White and Eed] is said to hare been that they were 
the colours worn by the servants of the Duke of Orleans, and they 
were first assumed by the people when the minister Necker was 
dismissed in 1789. But these colours in combination appear to 
have been formed by uniting the three colours successively used in 
the French standards at different periods, viz. the Blue of the ban- 
ner of St. Martin, the Eed of the Oriflamme, and the White of the 
White Cross, supposed to have been assumed by Philip of Valois. 
The three colours were given by Henry IV. to the Dutch on their 
desiring him to confer on them the national colours of his country, 
and they have been since borne successively by the Dutch Eepublic 
and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The domestic livery of Louis 
XIV. was tri-coloured, as were also the liveries of the Bourbon 
Kings in Spain. At the Eevolution they were borne in the same 
order as the Dutch, but in a different position, viz. parallel to the 
flag-staff, whereas in the Dutch flag they are at right angles to it. 
(Brando's Dictioriary of Literature, etc) 





Prescott, speaking of the ancient Mexicans, says 
(i, 38) : — " The national standard, which has been com- 
pared to the ancient Roman, displayed in its embroidery 
of gold and feather work the armorial ensigns of the 
state. These were significant of its name, which, as the 
names of both persons and places were borrowed from 
some material object, was easily expressed by hiero- 
glyphical symbols. The companies and the great chiefs 
had also their appropriate banners and devices, and the 
gandy hues of their many-coloured plumes gave a 
dazzling splendour to the spectacle." 

This national emblem was the Swan.* 

The learned Jacob Bryant in his work on Ancient 
Mythology (ii. 73) says ^'The Swan was imdoubtedly 
the ensign of Canaan, as the eagle and vulture were of 

* America is supposed to have been peopled by a colony from the 
North Eastern nations of Asia across Behring*8 Straits. The Abo- 
rigines are supposed to have been of the same race as the worship- 
pers of Astarte, whose emblems the cross and crescent, are found 
sculptured in many parts of the ruined temples. * * The Swan 
wa« the emblem of the Canaanites. The Spanish historian Sahagun 
relates that about two centuries before their conquest by the 
Spaniards the Astecs (Mexicans proper) were compelled to sur- 
render to a neighbouring kingdom that oppressed them their 
emblematical bird the Swan. * * The serpents and eggs found 
sculptured on the Mexican altars are essentially Tyrian emblems. — 
British and Foreign Review, vol. 17, Art. *' Discoveries in Central 


Egypt. Hence if any colonies from Canaan settled and 
founded temples, there is sure to be some story about 
Swans." And some writers have supposed that the lost 
tribes of Israel migrated to the North- American con- 
tinent. This opinion is certainly countenanced by the 
heraldic fact just mentioned. But however this may be, 
there is abundant evidence in the monumental remains 
of the ruined cities of Central America to show that 
their inhabitants had an Asiatic origin. Their worship 
of the Sun and of the Serpent, their use of many sym- 
bols of oriental origin, and other circumstances, amply 
and satisfactorily testify to this. At Copan was foimd 
among the fragments at the foot of a pyramid, the effigy 
of a colossal ape or baboon, bearing a strong resemblance 
to the animals of the same species originally figured on 
the great obelisk from the ruins of Thebes, which now 
graces the Place de la Concorde in Paris. These animals 
were worshipped at Thebes, under the name of Cyno 

But the sculptured figures on the monolithic idols of 
this ancient people as engraved in Mr. Stephen's work 
Incidents of Travel in Central America^ give us in ample 
detail a notion of the symbols and emblems they used. 
These are called ^' hieroglyphics,'' and are considered as 
unintelligible, as at one time were the hieroglyphics of 
Egypt. But it is remarkable that the decidedly heraldic 
character which they for the most part exhibit has never 
yet been observed ; yet that such is the fact the selection 
engraved on one of the plates of this work clearly shows. 
We see certain marks, devices, or patterns systematically 
varied and combined. A patch of the Lozengy pattern* 
everywhere appears, and dresses have the Pretty pattern 
with studs at the joints. We have the Cross, Saltire, Cres- 

* This there is little doubt was originally meant for the lower 
part of a fish, and had a religious meaning of an idolatrous character. 
In some early illuminated Irish MSS. a fish or the lower part of its 
body is represented ; this would have a pear-shaped or triangular 
form; accompanying this figure in the same MSS. are exhibited 
more minute patterns of this form exactly resembling the Mexican 
lozengy device, which when executed small appears simply like 
crossed lines always diagonally drawn. 


IC H / 


-IS ll, o~ 

2J ^.-j^^^v^ 2^' 23 2/1 . SS 3h 

3lsv a ®J h d (I'm S 


cent, FesSj* Roundel, Annulet, in some instances singly, 
in others combined, also frequently the Tau and Phallus. 
That these various objects thus differently arranged, on 
tablets or square frames, have a systematic meaning 
analogous to the similar combinations of Etiropean and 
Eoman heraldry, there can be but little doubt. What 
they signified in combination with the other figures 
sculptured on the stones, — whether they had a secondary 
meaning like the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and were a 
kind of picture writing, I will not pretend to say ; but that 
their primary significance was as distinctive marks or 
ensigns of the original tribes who came from Asiaf and 
settled on the western hemisphere, analogy and all the 
facts given throughout this work, . tend indisputably to 

* In Mr. Stuart's splendid work ITie Sculptured Stones of Scot- 
land is figured a representation of a shield of a Dyak of Borneo 
which exhibits a crescent in the centre, and annulets at top and 

Dr. Hume, at a lecture on Heraldry at Liverpool, exhibited two 
shields of native Australian chiefs, carved out of the solid wood, 
one bearing a device which heralds would describe as Afgent a pale 
gules ^ and the other Argent a f ess gules between 3 pellets sable, 2 and 
1. {OentlcTnan^s Magazine Dec. 1861.) 

t The aboriginal monuments of North America including those 
of Mexico and the Provinces to the south of it, are clearly referable 
to three distinct and possibly very widely separated epochs in the 
pre-Columbian history of the Continent. * * The first wanderers 
came from the Northern regions of India, that real primordial land 
where everything combines to point out a common origin of our 
faith, our knowledge, and our nistory. * * In Central America 
there are the remains of 54 ancient cities. # # # * 

* * * It is curious, says Mr. Fergusson, that as we advance east- 
ward from the valley of the Euphrates, at every step we meet with 
forms of art more and more like those of Central America. Many 
of the sacred edifices in the latter country are identical with the 
Buddhist Temples in the Southern parts of India, and in the islands 
of the Indian Archipelago. * * Scandinavia, Gaul, Mauritania, 
Carthage, Egypt, Palestine, Hindustan, China, Mongolia, Siberia, 
and even Wales and Ireland, are supposed by some to have fur- 
nished their respective quotas towards the peopling of the new 
world, whilst others including the late Dr. Morton of New York 
have maintained that the ancient population was a distinct type of 
humanity indigenous to the soil. * * In the Province of ruebla 
gigantic lithic monuments bearing the mystical emblems of Sabean, 
Phallic, and Ophite worship met the gaze of the Spanish soldier 


We have mentioned the use of the figure of the human 
hand as an ensign on the Roman standards, and its evi- 
dent antiquity as a symbol in Ireland, and consequently 
its probable derivation from the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean.* This symbol was also of common occurrence 
in North America. The author of " Euined Cities in 
Central America" in Chambers's Papers for the People 
thus speaks of it : — 

" There is one mysterious feature connected with these buildings, 
and observed even in those most distant from each other, which is 
of the utmost importance, not only as further proving the similarity 
of thought and feeling, because of sign and symbols, existing be- 
tween their respective populations, but still more as affording a 
connecting link between these populations and some of the tribes 
which to this day inhabit the North American continent. We 
allude to the print of a red hand which has been found on the walls 
of the edifices in almost all the cities explored. The sign- of the 
hand we are told is not painted, but seems literally printed upon 
the stones by the pressure of the living hand, while moist with the 
paint, as every minute line and seam of the palm is visible. It is a 
remarkable fact that this same sign constantly recurs on the skins 
of animals purchased from the Indian hunters on the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and it is indeed said to be in common use among the tribes in 
the north." 

This apparently connecting link between the ancient 
and the modem indigenous inhabitants of North America 
would prepare us to believe the latter to be descended 
from the former, though there seems to be no tradition 
or other evidence to that efltect, nor are the Indians of 
the present day known to exhibit any such symbols as 
are found sculptured on the idols of the Mexicans. But 
whatever may have been the origin of the Red Indians, 
there can be no doubt that the heraldic titles of their 
tribes had a similar origin to the same designations that 

whithersoever he turned. * * Associated with Sabean worship in 
former times was that of the lingam or phallus. This well attested 
fact leaves little room for doubting that the original Americans 
derived their religious system in part from the East. * * On the 
helmet or cap of a warrior or priest was found the symbol of an 
elephant's head. — Edinburgh Review, April, 1867. 

* The Hand which appears over the great entrance gate of the 
Alhambra at G-ranada is a symbol in universal use amongst the 
peoples of Arabian descent. — Archceological Journal, xxiii. 271. 


we have seen to characterize the races or tribes of Hin- 
dostan, as the Snake tribe etc. An American antiquary, 
Mr. Taylor tells us 

" Among the North American Indians, symbols are employed for 
the purpose of distinguishing their tribes. The Shawanese nation, 
for example, was originally divided into twelve tribes, which were 
subdivided into septs or clans, recognized by the appellation of the 
Bear, the Turtle, the Eagle, etc. In some cases individuals, par- 
ticularly the more eminent warriors, formerly assumed similar 
devices, commemorative of their prowess. * And this,' says Mr. 
Taylor, * is Indian heraldry.^ " 

Another American author thus further enlarges on the 
subject : — 

" The Indian tribes of the North American continent have an in- 
teresting custom amongst them, which is not unlike the system of 
heraldry amongst more civilized communities. It is called the in- 
stitution of the totem. The totem is a recognized symbol of the 
name of a progenitor, most frequently some bird, quadruped, or 
other well-known object in the animal kingdom, which thus comes 
to represent the family surname, and it is usually some animate 
rather than an inanimate object. Its significant importance amongst 
them is very great, as may be seen from the fact that they unhesi- 
tatingly trace their descent from it. By whatever names they may 
have been known during life, it is the totem, and not their personal 
name, that is placed on the tomb indicating their burial-place. The 
bear, the wolf, the fox, and the turtle, appear to have been amongst 
the most honoured totems of these Indian tribes, and thus have great 
prominence in the traditions of the Iroquois, Delaware, and other 
Indians. No savage tribes are more tenacious of their relationship 
than these North American Indians." 




The classic soil of ancient Greece — 

Land of lost Gods and Godlike men — 

has left manyand various testimonies behind of the pre- 
valence amongst its people of symbolical devices, — in its 
historians, poets, and dramatists, — in its ruined temples 
and broken sculptures, — in its abundant and diversified 
coinage,— in its gems of felicitous beauty and unrivalled 
execution, and in its matchless sepulchral vases, whose 
surfaces display such graceful figures and such graphic 
delineations of costume, arms, and mythological scenes. 

Hesiod describes the shield of Hercules as 

all throughout 

Bright with enamel) and with ivory, 
And mingled metal ; and with ruddy gold 
Refulgent ; and with azure plates inlaid 
The scaly terror of a dragon coil'd 
Full in the central field. 

Homer describes more or less briefly the shields and 
warlike weapons of his heroes ; but his descriptions are 
generally confined to their size, their strength, their mate- 
rial, their workmanship and their formidable appearance. 
Thus the shield of Ajax-Telamon is described as his 
^^ ample shield" (Iliad vii. 265) and afterwards (line 
296) as "the seven-fold shield," and more in detail in 
these lines (267-70) 

Huge was its orb, with seven thick folds o'ercast 
Of tough bull-hides ; of solid brass the last ; 


(The work of Tychius, who in Hyle dwell'd, 
And in all arts of armoury excell'd). 

The shield of Pallas is mentioned with the additional 
information of the device it bore, — as appearing on me- 
dals and sepulchral vases (book ii. lines 526-9) : — 

The dreadful aegis, Jove's immortal shield, 
Blaz'd on her arm, and lighten'd all the field ; 
liound the vast orb, a hundred serpents roll'd, 
Form'd the. bright fringe, and seem'd to bum in gold. 

In book V. (lines 908-16) it is again described at 
greater length : 

Now heaven's dread arms her mighty limbs invest, 
Jove's cuirass blazes on her ample breast ; 
Deck'd in sad triumph for the mournful field, 
O'er her broad shoulders hangs his horrid shield. 
Dire, black, tremendous ! Sound the margin roll'd 
A fringe of serpents, hissing, guards the gold : 
Here all the terrors of grim war appear. 
Here rages Force, here trembling Flight and Fear, 
Here storm' d Contention, and here Fury frown'd. 
And the dire orb portentous Gk)rgon crown' d. 

Agamemnon's "buckler's mighty orb" is described in 
book xi. lines 43-52 : 

Tremendous Gorgon frown'd upon its field. 
And circling terrors filled th' expressive shield. 

The shield of Achilles,* and its pictorial and allegori- 

* In the Penny Magazine of the Society for the Difiusion of 
Useful Knowledge, for Sep. 22. 1832, is a well executed wood en- 
graving of the Shield of Achilles, from the design of M. Quatremere 
de Quincy's splendid work i^ Jupiter Olympien; ou VArt de la 
Sculpture Antique, accompanied by the following remarks : — " As 
affording a picture of ancient life and manners, Homer's description 
of Achilles' shield possesses the highest interest : while the simpli- 
city of the language, and the charming picture of nature which it 
presents, are calculated to give the highest pleasure to all who can 
appreciate genuine poetry. When we consider the remote and un- 
certain epoch to which the writer of this description belonged, we 
cannot help feeling increased admiration for the poet who could 
paint, and the artist who could form so elaborate a piece of work- 
manship ; for surely some such work, or at least some similar works, 
must have preceded the description of them. The Shield of Achilles 


cal surface, is described at great length in book 18 ; in 
the poet's own words 

Rich artifice emblazed the field, 

reminding one of the bronze shield, representing his vic- 
tories, presented to the Duke of Wellington in 1822.* 

According to JEschylus, Tydeus bore on his shield, a 
full moon surrovnded with stars ; Capaneus, a naked man 
holding a lighted torch with a corresponding motto ; Eteo- 
cles, an armed man ascending a ladder placed against a 
tower, with a motto ; Hippomedon, Tt/phon vomiting smoke 
and fire surrounded by serpents ; Parthenopoeus, a sphinx 
holding a man ; and Polyneices, Jtistice leading an armed 
nian^ with a motto. 

Euripides assigns somewhat different appointments to 
his heroes. According to his enumeration^ Parthenopoeus 
exhibited his mother Atalanta chasing the JEtolian hoar ; 
Hippomedon, the figure of Argus ; Tydeus, the figure of 
Prometheus holding in his right hand a torch ; Polyneices, 
the Horses of Glaucus ; Capaneus, a giant bearing a city 
on his shoulders ; and Adrastus a hydra of 100 heads^ car- 
rying the Thebans off their walls. The shield of Amphi- 
arus according to both authors had no device.f 

is itself a proof of the art of design, and the working in metals hav- 
ing attained a very high degree of perfection among the Greeks, at 
a period of which we have no authentic historical records." 

In these days of slip-slop writing, and slovenly and coarse engra- 
vings, found in the magazines and cheap literature of the day, it is 
refreshing to turn to such early pioneers of cheap knowledge as the 
Penny Magazine, where we meet with careful and well executed 
wood engravings, and instructive articles well written, in which the 
lapse of nearly forty years shows not improvement but degeneracy. 

* See Saturday Magazine March 1834. / 

t ^schylus and Euripides concur in representing this as the effect 
of his modesty, which would not anticipate a precarious victory. 
Thus the youthful Helenor is designated by Virgil (^neid ix. 548), 
parmd inglorius alhd ; and further on (xi. 711) the plain shield of 
Camilla is spoken of as purdque mterrita parmd. And this senti- 
ment is in strict accordance with the usages and opinions of Chivalry. 
We are told (Mills, History of Chivalry, ch. iv.) that a young knight 
would not during his first enterprises assume his family arms, but he 
wore plain armour, and a shield without any device, till he had won 
renown. And Mallet, in his Northern Antiquities, has these remarks 


With this last exception it will be observed that the 
two poets differ in the bearings they attribute to their 
heroes : and this is natural enough, as these devices were 
probably the creations of imagination,, and would vary 
according to the fancy of the respective writers, just as 
Sir Walter Scott gives fanciful arms to his warlike cha- 
racters, as to Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert in Ivanhoe^ and 
Sir Thomas de Vaux in the Taliaman. 

But there is a phrase employed by Euripides (Phe- 
nissoB 1. 1107, Paley's Ed.) which implies a two-fold 
important meaning. " Parthenopseus (son of the himt- 
ress") he says, " having a family device\{Epi8ema oikion) 
in the middle of his shield, Atalanta destroying theJEtolian 
boavy with her distant woimding bow." This shows 1. 
that the combatants adopted new devices for the occasion^ 
whilst 2., Parthenopeeus displayed his hereditary bearings. 
This evident state of the case is an answer (that will be 
much strengthened as we proceed) to the objection that 
this discordance between jEschylus and Euripides in this 
matter is proof that personal devices at this period were 
temporary and arbitrary, and not inherited.''^ 

We are told that Alexander the Great granted devices 
to his followers with an especial provision that the same 
should not be borne by any other person throughout the 

Pliny (lib. xxxv. c. 3) speaking of the Trojan war says : 
Scutis quibm ad Trojam pugnatum est continebantur imagines. 

on the subject : " When a young warrior was first enlisted they gave 
him a white and smooth buckler, which was called the Shield of Ex- 
pectation. For this reason none but princes and persons distin- 
guished by their services presumed to carry shields adorned with 
any symbol. The common soldiers could not obtain a distinction of 
which the chiefbains were so jealous. According to Plutarch, in the 
expedition of the Cymbri, the greater part had only white bucklers." 

* See Brewster's Edin. Ency. art. Heraldry. 

t Ency. Metrop. art. Heraldry. No authority is given for this 
statement. The same thing is said of Charlemagne, or that he rcyw- 
lated the use of arms. It is highly probable that both these great 
Emperors did amongst their other reforms enjoin a stricter and more 
systematic observance of a custom already existing, adding new in- 
stitutions to an established code, as Napoleon I. in fact did with re- 
spect to his marshals, nobles and officers of the Court. 



Virgil has a passage which illustrates a general prac- 
tice in war of seizing and using the weapons, flags, and 
devices of the enemy as trophies : — 

Mutemus clypeos Danaumque insignia nobis 


Xenophon, in the fourth book of his Hellenics, relates 
that the inhabitants of Argos seeing some troops ap- 
proaching them, who bore on their shields the ensigns 
of the Sycyonians, were divested of fear, as the Sycyonians 
were their allies. 

' " The Carians," says Herodotus, " set the example of 
fastening crests on helmets, and of putting devices on 
shields, which the Greeks have adopted." (Clio, ^ 171 : 
Translation by Gary.) The following curious passage oc- 
curs further on (^ 194) respecting the Babylonians : 
" Every man has a seal, and a staff curiously wrought, 
and on every staff is carved either an apple, a rose, a 
lily, an eagle or somethiag of the kind, for it is not al- 
lowable to wear a stick without a device." 

We cannot better introduce the subject of the coins of 
Greece as famishing abundant evidence for our purpose, 
than by quoting some pertinent remarks from an article 
on the subject in the Edinburgh Review for July, 1856 : — 

We learn more respecting the religious worsliip, and the political 
relations of the independent states of Q-reece from inscriptions and 
coins than from the formal compositions of the poet and the histo- 
nan. Fsestum is best known by the majestic remains of her temples 
and the long series of her beautiful coins. * * The study of 
Greek coins is the study of the most authentic history in the most 
exquisite productions of contemporary art. The varieties of Greek 
coinage seem to be almost without limit. Not only had every state 
its own coinage, but in every coinage there were a vast number of 
varieties, and the power of designating and striking money was ex- 
ercised even by the smallest islands and towns such as SaJamis, or 
Ooe in Egina. Five hundred distinct types are assigned to Taren- 
tum. In Mionnet's list we have no fewer than 300 ^gs and 1,000 
cities. * * The coinage of Bactria bore Greek devices and le- 
gends. * * The Persians issued a coinage in imitation of the 
Greek as early as the time of Darius, the son of Hydaspes. * * 
An imitation of the coinage of Greece has been discovered even in 
India. * * The earliest Hebrew Coin is of the date of the Mac- 
cabees. Of Egypt and Assyria we do not possess any trace what- 
ever of a coinage. 


The system of each town having its device is to be sought for in 
the peculiar religious belief or worship of each individual place to 
which the type belonged. * * The type is veiy likely to be a sym- 
bol of that worship. The ear of com is very ukely to have been a 
symbol of the worship of Ceres. * * Even m later times, when it 
became the fashion to introduce the portraits of kings and dynasts 
upon the coin, we have the strongest possible ground for beueving 
that in no case was it done until the individual had been invested 
with divine honours as a deity or hero. In the coinage of the Ro- 
man empire the same religious character was sustained throughout ; 
and after the conversion of Constantino to Christianity, we find a 
corresponding change in the types and inscriptions. On the coins 
of Constantius we find the sacred monogram, and on the Byzantine 
coins we have representations of the Saviour himself." 

On a coin of Amyntas, King of Macedonia, is a horse 
stafant: on one of Amyntas, King of Gblatia, a lion 
stalanL The device borne by the city of Agrigentum on 
its coins was a crab ; Glides bore a key ; CarcHa a heart ; 
Melos a melon^ which was a common symbol on its early 
coins ; Rhodes used the device of a rose or pomegranate ; 
Selinus, a leaf of parsley. An emblem on the coins of the 
cities of Sicyon is a dove^ possibly bearing some allusion 
to the worship of Venus. An antelope is the sole device 
on the coins of (Enos in Thrace. A horse is the symbol 
common to Macedonia and the chief cities of Thessaly. 
On coins of a few Macedonian Kings we meet with a 
circular shield variously ornamented.* 

Many of the subjects engraved on the Gems of Anti- 
quity and on the stones of Signet-Rings are of a mytho- 
logical and emblematical character. Rev. C. W. King 
in his excellent work on Antique Gems says (p. 320) — 

After his Conquest of Asia, Alexander used the ring of Darius to 
seal his edicts to the Persians ; his original signet being for those 
addressed to the Q-reeks. The device of this last was probably a 
Lion, at least such was the figure on the signet with which Philip 
dredmed that he sealed up the womb of Olympias ; and in com- 
memoration of this dream Alexander subsequently founded a city 
called Leontopolis. Moreover the sole coins (hemidrachms) bearing 
his actual portrait with the horn of Ammon have a lion for the re- 
verse. At this period every man had a fixed device for Ms signet, as 
well knoum and unvarying as a coat of arms at present ; for we read 
of a conspiracy being detected in consequence of a letter brought to 

* EncyclopsBdia Metropolitana, art. " Numismatics." 

D 2 


a G-reek officer bearing an unknown seal, and which proved to be one 
from an agent of Darius (Quintus Curtius). * * The scholiast on 
Thucydides (i. 129) says the signet of the king of the Persians 
(Darius) bore according to some the portrait of the king himself, 
according to others, that of Cyrus the founder of the monarchy, and 
again as others say the Horse of Darius, by reason of whose neighing 
he was made king.f * * Areius, king of the Lacedemonians ends 
his letter addressed to the high priest Onias thus, ** The seal is an 
Eagle grasping a serpent in his talons." (Josephus xii. 5.) 

The same author in his Hand Book of Gems (p. 216) 
thus further remarks on the subject : — 

The devices on the signets of the ancients were both hereditaria and 
unalterable like our armorial bearings. A singular confirmation of 
this statement is afforded by the conclusion of the Heraclean in- 
scription which specifies the respective seals of the magistrates 
therein concerned, one bearing on his signet a Winnowing Fan (a 
noted Bacchic symbol) ; another a Dolphin, another a branch of 
Grapes etc. * * So exactly did these bearings (on the Q-reek and 
Etruscan vases) correspond to the cognizances of chivalry, that we 
find the traditions concerning the mythic heroes making them bear 
engraved on their signets the same devices that decorated their 
shields. Thus Plutarch relates (De Solert. Anim.) that Ulysses 
adopted and bore on his shield and signet a dolphin to commemorate 
the preservation of Telemachus by its agency, when in his childhood 
he had accidentally fallen into the sea. Hence in gems the portrait of 
the wily Ithacan is to be recognized by his shield displaying a dolphin 
for its device. * * [And at p. 19i of the same work we are informed 
that] PolysBUus distinctly states that the device of the King of the 
Persians, Xerxes, was a Naked Woman with her hair dishevelled,X a 

t This is refuted by a corrected reading of an inscription by Eaw- 
linson. See Review of Henry's Lecture on tlie Zendavesta in Sattir- 
day Review^ Sep. 16. 1865. The horse in this case was probably an 
heraldic emblem ; it was common on the coins of Macedonia. 

X This is precisely the crest of the family of Viscount Clifden, 
whose ancestors lived at Kiddall near Leeds, from the 13th century. 
It is represented with a coat of arms in the Visitation of Yorkshire 
(Harleian MSS. Brit. Mus. 1394) which are apparently copied from 
a glass window " in the chapel of the house of Mr. Vavasour at 
Hazlewood," which from the position of the shield and the form of 
the helmet may be said to be of the age of Edward III., or not later 
than that of Henry IV. The motto formerly borne with the arms 
and crest viz. JSuic haheo non tibi cannot be traced higher than 1612. 
The latter is used by one other family onlv (Newton) ; the crest is 
not borne by any other family. The tradition is that one of the 
family at Kiddall, was a Crusader under Kichard I., and having cap- 
tured a Saracen maiden, like another Scipio, spared her honour, and 


type, according to him, commemorating the tradition that their 
Queen Eodogune (the same story is told of the more ancient Semi- 
ramis) rushing in this state out of the bath had quelled a revolt of 
her subjects, apparently a Greek fiction coined (after their wont 
rather than confess ignorance) to explain the figure of Anaitis, 
the Babylonian Venus, so frequently represented in this guise on the 

We have now to ascertain the assistance to be ob- 
tained in our enquiries from those beautiful remains of 
Greek and Etruscan art, Sepulchral and other Vases.* 

hence assumed this crest. On this crest and motto I contributed a 
short paper in the Herald and Genealogist, Part XXIV, where also 
appears another paper ** On the Use of Antique Gems on Mediaeval 
Seals" wherein I have presumed that some Crusader found a gem 
with this device as used by Xerxes, brought it home and used it as 
many others did other gems as a personal seal. Two other such 
cases I have therein mentioned, to one of which was attached a 
similar crusading story. 

Mr. King's remarks on this use of Gems are interesting and in- 
structive. At p. 300 of his first work he observes " MedisBval 
rings and seals are often found set with antique intagli for the pur- 
pose of signets. The subjects engraven upon them were always in- 
terpreted by the owners as representations of scriptural personages 
and events. Thus a triple mask stood for the Trinity, with the 
legend added round the stone Hcec est Trinitatis imago, * * Isis 
nursing Horus naturally passes for the Virgin and Child. * * The 
common type of a muse holding a mask did duty for Herodias with 
the Baptist's head in her hand, and St. John the Evangelist was re- 
presented by the figure of Jupiter with the Eagle at his feet. 
Silenus with his crooked stick was appropriately transformed into 
some croziered abbot, whilst Cupids made very orthodox angels. 
The bust of Serapis passed always for the portrait of Christ. * * 
Every collection of Documents of the Middle Ages will display in 
their seals attached abundant evidence of the universality of the 
custom. The parchments preserved in the muniment room of 
Corpus Christi College, Camoridge, have a great number of impres- 
sions from antique intagli set in the personal seals of the donors 
and attestors [parties] of the various deeds." And at p. 325, the 
author gives further exemplifications of the practice : " Pepin used for 
his signet a head of the Indian Bacchus, and Charlemagne one of 
Serapis ; the first probably passed muster for that of Moses, the 
last for Christ himself." 

* " To the history of those races which have left no written re- 
cords, no inscribed memorials, their pottery is an invaluable guide. 
* * Its use is anterior to that of metals ; it is as enduring as brass. * * 
The use of letters is comparatively recent ; the glyptic and graphic 
arts only exist in their later forms as exercised on imperishable ma- 


Of the earliest, the Archaic Greek specimens of this fic- 
tile ware, Mr. Birch observes that the "animals repre- 
sented are chiefly lions, panthers, boars, goats, bulls, 
deer, eagles, swans, ducks, owls, and snakes — ^the chi- 
maBra, gryphon and sphinx — a kind of trefoil lotus often 
introduced, and the fylfot pattern — such representations 
belonging evidently to the dawn of art, and derived from 
oriental sources."* But the particular fact that is more 
important for our purpose, is what is expressed in Mr. 
Hope's words, that " Emblems and Devices were as 
common on ancient shields as on the bucklers of the 
Crusaders,"f This fact is deduced from the paintings 
on these long- entombed " storied-urns ;'' for wherever 
the subjects admit of the introduction of warriors, we 
almost invariably find them armed with a circular shield 
containing a device. 

Mr. Boutell in his latest work on " English Heraldry," 
thus describes these devices : — 

" Shields upon vases in the collections of the Museum of the Louvre 
at Paris, and in the British IVJuseiun, where they are easy of access, 
contain a great variety of devices, including lions, horses, dogs, wild- 
boars, fish, birds, clusters of leaves, chariots, chariot- wheels, votive 
tripods, serpents, scorpions with many others. In another collec- 
tion I have seen an anchor, a bow, etc." 

The general opinion of those who have written on the 
subjects represented on Yases, is that the Upisema or 
emblems on the shields had no systematic import. The 
Marquis of Northampton in an article on a Greek Vase 
in the Arcliceologia (vol. 32) observes that " Millingen 
and others say they are frequently arbitrary," whilst the 
Marquis himself says " I don't advocate the idea that 
any particular emblems were exclusively attached to any 
particular heroes or families * * The serpent I find 
continually on the bucklers of giants, in the oft-recurring 
subject of the Gigantomachias. I find it not uncommon 

terials ; but in every quarter of the world, fictile fragments of the 
earliest efforts lie beneath the soil, fragile but enduring remains of 
the time when the world was in its youth." Birch's History of 
Potlery (ii. 395). 

* Ibid. i. 257. 

t Ancient Greek Costume. 



on many of the Episema of Minerva, and often on shields 
of Achilles." And he proceeds to give the emblems ex- 
hibited in many cases : 

" On a Vase in the Eoyal Collection at Munich, a cock is the em- 
blem on the shield of Hector. On the shield of one of the Com- 
batants on my Yase is a Serpent, and this warrior I believe to be 
Achilles. The other, whose emblem is a tripod, I conclude to be 
Memnon. On a vase on which is the combat of Achilles with Mem- 
non over the dead body of Antilochus, the buckler of Achilles has a 
Serpent, while the son of Nestor has two on his shield. A vase con- 
tains two Serpents on the shield of Ajax, who is carmng the body 
of Achilles, perhaps for the shield of Achilles himself On another 
vase, the shield of Achilles has on it a serpent, a satyr's head, and 
a tiger, whilst that of Ajax shows two Serpents and a Q-orgonium. 
A Tripod was generally borne by Hectfjr and Memnon, and is sup- 
posed to be the emblem of Apollo. Several instances show that the 
Tripod was a Troian badsre. Achilles or Aiax bears also a bull's 
head." ^ ^ ^ 

In Millingen's work a vase is represented with Mi- 
nerva bearing on a shield a Dolphin. Another found in 
Sicily bears the cognizance of that Island, the trinacrea.* 
Another represents Ephialtes fighting Neptnne, with on 
the shield of the former 2 Globes or Roundels placed one 
above the other. 

Mr. Hope in his work before mentioned gives in Plate 
xl. the figure of a Greek warrior, with a scorpion on his 
shield, and a cheque/ band on his helmet. In Plate xliii. a 
Pegasus occurs on a helmet, on others Serpents. In PI. 
xlvi. a Torch or Club is delineated on a Theban shield. 
In PL Ixxvii. another Theban shield displays a Leopard's 
Face between 2 Serpents. In PI. Ixxviii. a Mermaid oc- 
curs on a helmet. 

In Plate v. of Panof ka's work (fol, Paris) on the Vases 
Feints of the Musee Blacas (now transferred to the Bri- 
tish Museum) is figured a shield containing a Horse's or 
Eam's Head. 

* It was from Tor-ance that Sicily was called Trinacis and Trina- 
cia. This in process of time was changed to Trinacria, which name 
was supposed to refer to the triangular form of the island, and the 
name equally related to a small part of the island near Etna. The 
island of Rhodes was called Trinacria, which was not triangular. 
(Bryant's Ancient Mythology.) 


The shield of Agamemnon on one Vase has the bear- 
ing of a Scorpion. On another Demophoon son of Theseus 
King of Athens, bears the device of the head and shoul- 
ders of a goat — a goat being the emblem of Thrace — 
where he was driven, on his return from the Trojan 
war. Upon another vase Jason is represented as about 
to quit lolchos in search of the Golden Fleece ; his shield 
has a serpent on it assumed also by other Greeks, there- 
fore probably a national emblem and not personal to 

This author's latter remark is probably the correct ex- 
planation of the frequent recurrence of the serpent and 
is confirmed by the following facts. 

Upon the tomb of Epaminondas there was figured a 
shield with a Serpent for a device, to signify that he was 
an Ophite or Theban, (Suidas — Epaminondas.) The 
Spartans were of the same race, and there is said to have 
been the same device upon the shield of Menelaus and 
Agamemnon. (Pausanias lib. x.)*}* 

From all the foregoing we have evidence, from diffe- 
rent sources, that it was customary for the warriors of 
the Iliad, and the Greeks generally, at the periods illus- 
trated to bear devices on their shields. The import- 
ant question then arises whether these were arbitrarily 
chosen, adopted for a special occasion, and frequently 
changed by the same person and the same family, or 
were hereditary, and employed according to some system- 
atic rules. We have seen reason to suppose that the 
emblems attributed by ^schylus and Euripides were the 
inventions of those poets, whilst at the same time a 
phrase noticed, made use of by Euripides, shows that 
family devices or hereditary bearings were known. What 
explanation then can be given of the same device being 
borne by different persons, and different devices by the 
same person ? 

To this question two answers may be given. 1. As 
regards the deities who figure on these shields it is well 
known that they had various attributes, and that their 

* Newton's Display of Heraldry, 1846. 
t Bryant's Ancient Mythology (ii. 465.) 


actions were numerous and varied. 2. The heroes of the 
Iliad all bore symbols on their shields, but as in general 
they are not described by Homer, the omission must 
have been supplied by the varying fancy of painters and 
sculptors, who, in the absence of any authority on the 
subject, or of any conventional devices agreed on by the 
practice of artists, or in so far as those two guides were 
imperfect, would attribute such emblems to their heroes 
ias corresponded with the actions illustrated, A similar 
practice, to be noticed more in detail hereafter, seems to 
have prevailed in mediaeval times, in the Bayeux tapes- 
try, where for the most part apparently imaginary her- 
aldic shields are indiscriminately given to Saxons and 
Normans, and the same bearings to different personages 
among the latter ; and in fresco representations of the 
murder of Thomas k Becket, where evidently in igno- 
rance of the real devices borne by the four knights his 
murderers, different arms are given on one or more of 
the shields by the different artists. 

But that in real life, amongst the ancient Greeks, their 
heraldry was systematic as well as hereditary, is to be 
inferred from the heraldic hearivffs to speak correctly, 
observed on shields yet to be noticed ; for in the sense in 
which the words have hitherto been, and are generally 
used, they can scarcely be called devices or emblems, or 
even perhaps symbols. 

InMillin's work — Feintures des Vases Antiques — (i. Ill) 
is figured a warrior who holds a shield, the whole area of 
which is covered with the cliequy design. This is symbo- 
lical or emblematical of scarcely anything, and can only 
be conceived to be borne as an hereditary and cherished 
mark of some tribe or race of cognate origin with those 
who bore the same pattern as seen in Assyrian remains 
and on some Greek helmets (ante p. 18). In the same 
work (ii. 25) is represented a warrior with only half his 
shield visible, which, presuming the other half would 
repeat the symbols borne on the one seen, would heraldi- 
caUy speaking, be described as two increscents in the 
centre, their inner curves opposite, with a bordure of 6 
annulets. In the British Museum one Yase contains 3 


balls or roundels ; another on a white field, 4 sable ones with 
an annulet in the centre; and another from Millingen 
has been before noticed having 2 roundels only. These it 
will be seen have a remarkable general resemblance to 
the shields found in the Indian Temples noticed at p. 13. 
The star and crescent are well-known sacred symbols, 
and there is little doubt that the ball or globe was of a 
like religious import : it and the annulet occur plenti- 
fully on the Eoman shields to be presently noticed, and 
the globe is found for centuries on European mediaeval 
coins ; 3 of them are on the standard of Constantino, and 
they occur in the earliest known heraldic shields. The 
use of these symbols on the ancient vases therefore could 
hardly have been fanciful or arbitrary ; and their varied 
arrangement and combination imply a system. If they 
were not — ^the instances we have met with — ^the actual 
bearings of any family, yet they give us examples of 
what were probably in use at the time, and are as clear 
evidence of an heraldic system then as a promiscuous 
collection of as many seals with analogous symbols of 
the time of Edward the third in England. 

Whatever was the origin of the imperial city of Eome, 
by whomsoever first founded and peopled, there can be 
no doubt that the early Romans in their intercourse 
with the people of Etruria, adopted many of their cus- 
toms, if they had not already possessed such as are com- 
mon to all warlike races. The vases exhumed from 
Etruscan tombs exhibit in most instances the same mytho- 
logical subjects as we find displayed on Greek vases: 
and in a tomb opened by Signer Avolta there were found 
several large bronze shields with images in bas-relief. 

But though we have no such instructive monuments 
of art as the pictorial vases of the Etruscans, the Greeks 
and Greek colonists, handed down to us by the early 
settlers on the Tiber, or their descendants for several 
ages, yet the literature and monumental and other 
remains of a later period furnish sufficient materials to 
enable us to form a tolerably correct notion of the cus- 
toms of the Eoman People during the Eepublic and the 



Empire, in regard to the use of emblematical devices on 
shields, and otherwise. 

The classic writers contain frequent allusions to shields 
with devices. In the seventh book of Ovid's "Meta- 
morphoses,'' where JEgeus is nearly poisoning his son 
Theseus by mistake, till he recognizes certain family 
symbols on the hilt of his sword, occurs this passage : — 

Sumpserat ignara Theseus data pocula dextra, 
Cum pater in capulo gladii cognovit eburno 
8igna sui generis. 

But it is the ^neid of Virgil which contains the most 
numerous references to the subject. In that work we 
meet with the following passages : — 

Mutemus clypeos, Danaumque insignia nobis 

Aptemus: ■ 

Sic fatus, deinde comantem 

Androgei galeam, clypeique insigne decorum 

(ii. 388-91) 

Post hos insignem palmS. per gramina currum 
Victoresque ostentat equos, satus Hercule pulchro 
Pulcher Aventinus ; clypeoque insigne paternum, 
Centum angues, cinctamque gerit serpentibus by dram ; 

(vii. 655-8) 

Et SacransB acies, etpicti scuta Labici 

(vii. 796) 

Miratur nemus inauetum Julgentia longe 

Scuta virum (viii. 92, 3) 

quorum primsBVus Helenor 

Ense levis nudo, parmague inglorius alba 

(ix. 545-8) 

Ense pedes nudo, purdque interrita parmd 

(xi. 711) 

Gems and statues furnish us abundantly with the 
forms of animals, etc., used as crests. Tumus is de- 
scribed by Virgil as bearing for his crest a chimsera ; 
and Corvinus, in the poem of Silius, exhibits on his 
helmet a crow. To show that this was an hereditary 
bearing, it is described as ostentans ales proavitae insignia 
pugncB. The story of lo appeared on the shield of her 
descendant Turnus ; the swan's plume on the shield of 


Cupavo indicated his descent from Cycnus; and the 
hydra on the shield of Aventinus declared him the 
progeny of Hercules. 

The following passage from Mr. King's work before 
quoted on Antique Gems (p. 318) gives additional illus- 
trations of the customs of the Eomans in respect to using 
personal and family devices : — 

" Dio records that the head of Augustus engraved by Dioscorides 
was the signet used by his successors until G-alba substituted for it 
his own family device, a dog looking forth from a ship's prow. 
Nylla's favourite seal was the surrender of Jugurtha (Plmy, Nat. 
Hist, xxxvii.) * * * Augustus at first sealed with a sphinx, after- 
wards with the head of Alexander the G-reat. That of MsBcenas was 
a Frog. A calcedony scarab in the Mertens-Schaffhausen Collection 
is engraved with a frog. Both the beetle, and the intaglio, a highly 
finished work of an Etruscan artist of the best period, may be 
assigned without much stretch of probability to some member of the 
powerful clan Maikne, the " regal ancestry " of Horace's patron. 
That G-reek devices like our heraldic crests were hereditary appears 
from Dio's jiotice of Q-alba's hereditary seal." 

And the following passage from Suetonius offers un- 
questionable testimony to the existence of hereditary 
family devices among the Eomans : — Vetera faniiliarum 
insignia, says the historian, speaking of Caligula, nobilis- 
simo cuique adetnit; Torquato torquem ; Cincinnato crinem 
Cn. Pompeio^ stirpis antiques, Magni cognomen. The per- 
sons mentioned were probably the heads of the several 
families, who alone were accustomed to wear these 
ensigns, and therefore alone could lose them. Cogno- 
minoy too, were well known to have been hereditary,* 

* Encyclop. Metrop. art. " Heraldry." 

In Maitland's * Church in the Catacombs * are given several epi- 
taphs of the early Christians at Rome, where are figured objects 
that closely resemble the name of the deceased family, as a Lion for 
Leo, etc. And in the volumes on Pompeii in the * Library of 
Entertaining Knowledge' (vol. i. p. 162) is an engraving of a brazier, 
stamped wifli the figure of a cow, and inscribed with the name of 
*'M. Kigidius Vaccula," The following remarks of the author 
illustrate our subject : — " Yarro, in his book upon Eural affairs, tells 
us that many of the surnames of the Eoman families had their ori- 
gin in pastoral life, and especially are derived from the animals to 
whose breeding they paid most attention. As, for instance, the 
Porcii took their name from their occupation as swineherds; the 
Equarii, of horses; the Tauri, of bulls, etc. We may conclude, 


The national ensigns of the Eomans were various, and 
varied from time to time, according as new conquests 
were made, or superstitious feeling exalted or degraded a 
symbol, Pliny observes (x. 4) that the eagle was the 
first and chief military ensign; others were the wolf, 
the minotaur, the horse and wild-boar. Before the time 
of Caius Marius the eagle only was borne in actual war- 
fare ; the other ensigns were left behind in the camp, 
Caius Marius rejected altogether the other emblems and 
retained the eagle exclusively. But at a subsequent 
period some of the old emblems were resumed. We find 
the wolf amongst the ensigns of the Trajan column ; the 
dragon the ensign of the Parthians was adopted as shown 
by the arch of Severus, It was the device also of the 
Dacians, and it is often seen on the Trajan column,* 

The Hand appearing on the top of the Eoman Stand- 
ards was probably an ancient symbol, perhaps of ori- 
ental origin : it is found as a symbol in ancient Mexico, 
and as the badge of Ulster, and as found in some Irish 
coats of arms, might have had a Phoenician origin.f 

We learn from Yegetius (ii. 17) that every legion had 
the bucklers of its soldiers painted of a particular colour 
and charged with distinctive symbols, as the thunder- 
bolt, anchor, serpent, etc. To the symbols were added 
the peculiar sign of each cohort, and the bucklers con- 
tained the name and cohort of the soldier to whom it 

therefore, that the family of this Marcus Vaccula were originally 
cowkeepers, and that the figures of cows so plentifully impressed on 
all the articles which he presented to the baths are a sort of canting 
arms, to borrow an expression from heraldry, as in Rome the family 
Toria caused a bull to be stamped on their money." 

* Montfaucon — VAntiquite expliquee Supp. t. iv. 

t On two limbs of the Cross of Moone Abbey co. Kildare are 
sculptured two hands. (Keane's Towers and Temples of Ireland 
p. 113.) The figure of a hand occurs on a coin of Egmargach, 
Hibemo-Danish King of Ireland 1054 (Lindsay's Coinage of Ire- 

X Each century or at least each maniple had its proper standard 
and standard-bearer. The ensign of a manipulus was anciently a 
bundle of hay on the top of a pole, afterwards a spear with a cross 
piece of wood on the top, sometimes the figure of a hand above, and 
below a small round or oval shield commonly of silver, also of gold, 


These military devices were systematically arranged, 
as much so as mediaeval blazomy in the full splendour of 
its display. This must not only have been necessary, but 
is evident from the descriptions and figures of the legion- 
ary ensigns in the Notitia Imperii''^ compiled in the 5th 
century, and on the column of Trajan as represented in 
the plates of Montfaucon's great work. There are the 
same endless combinations of certain symbols and figures 
of animals, and other significant objects, as we find in 
modem heraldry ; and these were further varied by posi- 
tion, arrangement and colour. The greater part of the 
symbols are precisely such as form the staple charges in 
modem armory, as the annulet, sexfoil or cinqfoil, cres- 
cent, pellet and mascle. But the fleur de lis and escallop 
shell, as well as the lion and other objects of the animal 
kingdom, are almost entirely absent ; nor do we find the 
patterns prevalent amongst the Assyrians, and which 
Lter l4ly into Europ^n herald^, viz', the parti- 
coloured divisions of the shield. 

Though we have thus abundant information of what 
were the cohort-ensigns, and from other sources, many 
of the ensigns of the legions, f yet we only know 

on which were represented the images of the warlike deities, as Mars 
or Minerva and after the extinction of liberty, of the Emperors or of 
their favourites. Hence the standards were called numina legionum 
and worshipped vnth religious adoration. The soldiers swore by 

We read also of the standard of the cohorts, as of prefects, or 
commanders of the cohorts. The standards of the different divisions 
had certain letters inscribed on them, to distinguish the one from the 
other. The standard of the cavalry was called vewillwny a flag or 
banner, Le. a square piece of cloth fixed on the end of a spear used 
also by the foot. A silver eagle vdth expanded wings on the top of 
a spear, sometimes holding a thunderbolt in its claws, with the 
figure of a small chapel above it, was the common standard of the 
legion, at least after the time of Marius, for before that, the figures 
of other animals were used. (Adam's Roman Antiquities.) 

* The Notitia Imperii bears some resemblance to our Court Car 
lendars. It contains a list of the Civil and Military Officers of the 
Empire, and was first published by the great lav\ryer Pancirollus, who 
thought from internal evidence the work was vmtten about the end 
of the reign of Theodosius the younger, who died a. d. 450. 

t The Eoman soldiers represented in stone discovered on the line 
of Antonine's vallum and dressed in the plaid kilt (before mentioned, 


I I 


them as existing during the Empire : how long they 
had been instituted, what was their origin, what mu- 
tations they had undergone — are questions left to con- 
jecture. But there are analogies that may help us ap- 
proximately to solve them. 

The early history of the Roman Republic is involved 
in obscurity and uncertainty. The destructive criticism 
of Niebuhr, carried to greater lengths by the analytical 
scepticism of Sir G. Comewall Lewis, has converted 
the accepted history of the early ages into an inextri- 
cable and inconsistent mass of fictions and fables. But 
there can be little doubt that the feudal element in some 
form prevailed in the rise and growth of the Roman 
states, as it did in India, in Persia, and other countries. 
We know that the Romans were divided into clans or 
ffentes : and from what we have seen, it is pretty clear 
that the head of each gens bore an hereditary device, 
which was probably confined to the head of the gens, and 
with modifications to the head of each subordinate fa- 
mily. In the European feudal system we are aware that 
each Baron led his retainers to battle under his own ban- 
ner; and the nobles and knights down to the time of 
Henry VIII. in England, bore in warfare on their stand- 
ards and pennons their own pecuUar devices and mottos. 
In the civil war of the 17th century this practice seems to 
have been discontinued, and we read of Colonel Byron's 

p. 20) have each an oblong shield, on which are depicted geometrical 
figures that have a remarkable resemblance to heraldic charges, viz. 
on 1. An annulet in chief enclosing a roundel, in fess a square mascle 
enclosing a roundel, and in base another square mascle. 2. In chief 
a roundel surmounted by a crescent, or demi-annulet, in fess as the 
first, and in base a roundel. 3. In chief a roundel, in fess a square 
mascle, in base another. 

The seagoat and the pegasus on tablets and centurial stones found 
on the walls of Severus and Antoninus, were badges of the Second, 
and the boar of the 20th Legion {Gentleman's Mag.w6\, i. 1833, p. 598). 

The device of the Britannici Secundi is given in the Notitia Im^ 
perii as a wheel, and such a wheel is actually cut on the tomb of a 
legionary at Balmore Caerleon in Monmouthshire (King's Sand 
Booh of Gems.) 

After the African war, Caesar gave the 5th legion an Elephant for 
their ensign. 


regiment, Viscoimt Grandison's regiment, etc., and down 
to the time of George the third, the same distinctions 
were observed as Lord Ligonier's regiment. General 
Amherst's regiment, etc., whilst in the present day the 
regiments of the army are otherwise named, as the Cold- 
stream Guards, the Welch Fusiliers, etc., except when 
commanded by royal personages. Now it appears 
amongst the Romans, the members of the same gens act- 
ing as triumviri monetales^ at different times, put the same 
device on their mintage; and Mr. King, in his Hand 
Book of Gems^ adduces instances to show that the seal 
devices of these officials were generally used for the 
type of the mintage for which they were responsible.* 

This indicates what was the probable origin of the 
cohort-devices. They were doubtless originally the fa- 
mily emblems of the commanders of the cohorts, after- 
wards multiplied and systematized in the way of which 
so many illustrations have come down to us.*)" The en- 
signs of the legions would have been imposed in a simi- 

* In the Archaoloffical Journal (vol. 23) is a paper by Mr. King 
with illustration^, on the signet of Quintus Comehus Lupus, which 
has a horse's head and neck bridled and couped (to use the heraldic 
term) and two large Gallic shields covered with barbaric ornament- 
ations placed en saltire. In the field is deeply cut the legend Q. 
Cornell LupL The horse was the national emblem on the autono- 
mous gold coinage of the Gauls — and may signify on this signet a 
victory over that people. 

t Pliny derives the word pecunia from the circumstance that the 
coins were originally marked with the image of some animal. The 
oldest form of the as is that which bears the figure of an animal, as 
a bull, a ram, or a boar, A coin of Thorius Balbus has a bull rushing 
forward. The torques or collar was always retained as a device by 
the Manlian family, from the circumstance of Titus Manlius having 
taken a gold torques from the neck of a Gaulish commander whom 
he killed in single combat, and we discover it on the coins of this 
family. Q. Voconius Vitulus exhibited a calf on his medals, and 
Publicius Malleolus, a hammer or mallet. A coin of the Cassian 
family has an S and 3 balls. The different number of balls denoted 
the value of the coins. Perhaps this device had a common origin 
with the roundels on Greek shields. These balls or pellets were 
afterwards stamped on mediaeval coins. Other devices on Roman 
coins are, a dolphin, an open hand, a grain of com, a star, heads of 
Hercules, Ceres, etc. One has a shell, which as a Eoman emblem 
was very rare. 


lar manner, and altered from time to time, by adoption 
of the device of a people over whom they had obtained 
a victory, thus serving to commemorate their renown, as 
the name of a battle-field is inscribed on the " colours" 
of our own regiments when they have achieved glory and 

If this be a true theory of the formation of the cohort- 
devices of the Eomans, we have the materials for an in- 
structive comparison of their family devices with those 
of the Greeks. The shields of the Greek Warriors con- 
tain elements common to them and to the Eomans, and 
probably also to their Etruscan predecessors. If they 
were fixed and hereditary, we have an important clue in 
tracing the connection of races with each other, and with 
a common parentage. The crescent, the annulet, the 
star, the roundel and cinqfoil occur equally amongst the 
Greeks and Eomans, and are found amongst the mystic 
symbols of the Buddhist religion, their evident proto- 
types. The absence, or rare occurrence, of other emblems 
is significant as showing at the same time the slight pre- 
valence of certain ethnological peculiarities, the tenacity 
with which these distinctions of race were preserved, 
and the importance attached to these embodiments of an- 
cestral feeling, amid the mixture of races, and the changes 
of language and religion, laws and customs. 





War preceded Eeligion. Whether mankind sprang from 
one or several centres, their emergence from a merely 
animal state must have been for a long period character- 
ized by modes of life and mental inferiority, little re- 
moved from those of brutes, and such as are met with 
amongst the lowest order of savages in all parts of the 
earth. The necessities of daily subsistence, the constant 
struggle with the elements, the perpetual vigilance 
against the attacks of wild and ferocious beasts, must in 
the early stages of man's history, have employed all his 
physical energies, and have entirely absorbed his feeble 
mental faculties, to the complete exclusion of any but 
the most evanescent, rudimentary, and infantile specula- 
tions on the unseen powers of nature, their origin or 
character.* As men multiplied, as commimities arose, 

" * Nations have been found and still exist, whose languages con- 
tain not a single word expressive of divinity, and into whose mind 
the idea of God or of any religion appears never to have entered. 

Dobrizhoffer, who was for eighteen years a missionary in Para- 
guay, states that the language of the Abipones does not contain a 
single word which expresses God or a Divinity. Penafiel, a Jesuit 
theologian, declared that there were many Indians who on being 
asked whether during the whole course of their lives they ever 
thought of God, replied, No, never. Dobrizhoffer began a con- 
versation with the Cacique Tchoalay, the most intelligent of all the 
Abipones : in reply to certain questions, he said My father, our 
grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, were wont to contemplate the 
earth alone, solicitous only to see whether the plain afforded grass 
and water for their horses. They never troubled themselves about 


the excitable passions of barbarous races would be often 
aroused in contests for favoured territories, for fertile 
lands, and hunting grounds, — to revenge injuries, to 
secure advantages, and to thin the competitors in the 
struggle for existence. 

Cum prorepserunt primis animalia terns, 
Mutum et turpe pecus, glandem atque cubilia propter 
Unguibus et pugnis, dein fustibus, atque ita porro 
Pagnabant armis, quae post fabricaverat usus : 
Donee verba, quibus voces sensusque notarent, 
Nominaque invenere : dehinc absistere bello, 
Oppida coeperunt munire, et ponere leges, 
Nequis fur esset, neu latro, neu quis adulter.* 

The speculative or meditative faculty could never 
have been exercised in a continuous way, or employed 
on any but the every-day necessities and occurrences of 
life, till long after the dawn of some nascent form of 
civilization. The vague and passing feeling of terror 
at the tempestuous ocean, the driving hurricane, or the 
battle of the elements, must have been separated by 
a long interval from meditations on the firmament of 
heaven, and the wonders of the earth beneath. The 
beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, which he 
could subdue and destroy, inspired the primaeval man 
with none of that feeling of wonder and awe with which 
he saw the everlasting hills vomit forth fire and smoke, 
the mighty and everfowing river inundate its banks, 
and the boundless ocean heaving with fury and rage. 
Here he was in presence of agencies he could neither 
master nor comprehend: his innate feelings of venera- 
tion were excited, and he began mutely to worship. The 
sun in the full blaze of his glory he adored ; the thun- 
der, the lightning, the black clouds, the darkness, he 
dreaded, as anger and wrath personified, f Hence began 

what went on in the Heavens, and who was the Creator and Gover- 
nor of the Stars. — Max Miiller's History of Ancient Sanscrit Lite' 
rature, p. 538. 

* Hor. Sat. iii. 99-106. 

t The mental analogy between the early stages of human civiliza- 
tion and the childhood of the individual, is forcibly and frequently 



the first rudiments of religion. His ideas of reverence 
extended to all that was strange, abnormal, and mighty 
around him. A lofty and inaccessible mountain, a gi- 
gantic tree,* a huge rock, were invested with the same 
attributes of life and power that he perceived in the Sun,, 
the viewless Wind, the Kiver and the Sea. Every extra- 
ordinary object beame a Fetisch, an idol. This sentiment 
became cultivated : a priesthood arose ; thanksgivings 
and prayer, sacrifices and propitiation were offered to 
the Great Powers of Nature. 

But this education, though the commencement of 
the religious history of man, could not have arisen till 
a stage of early civilization had been reached, that gave 
him some security for the fi:uits of his labour against the 
assaults of his enemies, whether elemental, human, or 
animal, and enabled a class to devote themselves to ob- 
jects beyond the incessant pursuit of the chase, or other 
modes of procuring subsistence. Such a stage could not 
have been attained, as before remarked, without a long, 
though intercepted, continuance of that antagonism of 
life which is a condition of progress. The elementary 
characteristics of warfare must have long previously pre- 
set forth in the works of Vico. * * That original thinker points 
out the personifying instinct as the spontaneous philosophy of man 
to make himself the rule of the universe, and to suppose every- 
where a quasi-human agency as the determining cause. — Grote's 
History of Greece, i. 473. 

* The Turanians worshipped all material things. Trees with them 
in all times were objects of veneration, and of special worship in par- 
ticular localities. The mysterious serpent was with them a god, 
and the bull in most Turanian countries an object of special venera- 
tion. The sun, the moon, the stars, all filled niches in their Pan- 
theon ; in fact, whatever they saw they believed in, — whatever they 
could not comprehend, they worshipped. They cared not to enquire 
beyond the evidence of their senses, and were incapable of abstract- 
ing their conceptions. * * It is to this race also that we owe 
the existence of human sacrifices. Always fatalists, always and 
everywhere indifferent to life, and never fearing death, those sacri- 
fices were never to them so terrible as they appear to more highly 
organized races. * * Their tombs and tumuli exist everywhere. 
Their ancestral worship is the foundation at the present day of half 
the popular creeds of the world, and the planets have hardly ceased 
to be worshipped at the present hour. — Fergusson's Hist* of Archi- 
tecture, i. 48. 


vailed. Contending tribes, chosen leaders, the system, 
the discipline which experience in fighting engender, 
weapons of attack and defence, the spear and the shield, 
and standards to rally troops, — all these elements of war 
must have subsisted. Some badges or marks of distinc- 
tion, however rude and simple, whether of colour, dress, 
or other equipment, must have early been found neces- 
sary to distinguish hostile tribes, leaders from the mass, 
and divisions from each other. A simple contrast of 
colours on a woven fabric, and eventually the figure of 
some emblematical animal or object, would at an early 
stage of systematic warfare constitute the standard or 
banner of a warrior chief. This would become an object 
of reverence. It would be carried and held sacred in 
religious ceremonies and processions.* It would become 
identified with, or initiate religious idolatry. An animal, 
a bird, or a fish, whether alive or represented, would 
never in the infancy of religion be worshipped ; and this, 
for the simple reason that Man felt himself to be the 
Lord of Creation ; that like Alexander Selkirk, he was 
Monarch of all he surveyed, of every creeping thing on 
the face of the earth, and even of the fowls of the air ; 
whilst in presence of the great agencies of Nature, he 
shrunk back affrighted, powerless, and subdued. 

All mythological history, the evidence of language, the 
nature of mental perceptions, teaches us that " Heaven's 
all-glorious Sun " was the first and engrossing object of 
all worship, as the only obvious " First Great Cause," 
the Lord of Light and Life, the Giver of All Good 
Things, the Beneficent Father and Sovereign of the 
World. Idolatry, the adoration of Symbols and Images, 
of the brazen Serpent, of the golden Calf, of the sacred 
Ark, was an after-growth. It sprung up after the vene- 
ration for consecrated trees and rocks, f caves and groves. 

* Tbe standards of the E/omans were called nvmina legionum, and 
worshipped with religious adoration. The soldiers swore by them. 

t The worship of stones prevailed in England several centuries 
after the introduction of Christianity. A law of Canute is directed 
against those who worship fire, or rivers, or rocks, or any sort of 
trees. — Stuart's Sculptured Stones of Scotland (i. 3). 


And it arose, not so much to satisfy the longing in the 
human breast for closer communion with its Deity, as 
naturally and inevitably. In the childhood of the human 
race, it was the same as with the child of to-day. Ke- 
verence like other feelings grows, and is educated. The 
child in its ignorance tramples on and desecrates what 
it afterwards venerates. The eagle or the lion of a 
tribe or a people, after generations of sacred regard, be- 
came so associated with religious feeling and customs, 
that it was invested with a new, a hallowed, and excep- 
tional character ; it was deified ; other animals or em- 
blems, the symbols and badges of other tribes, were of 
no account ; but the horse or the bull of their own tribe 
or race became sacred as no other animal, no other object 
was ; and hence by long usage, and priestly inculcation, 
the various animals and birds constituting the hallowed 
emblems of tribes, and clans, and peoples, became inse- 
parably conjoined with the worship of the Sun, and 
eventually the sole objects of adoration. 

This I believe to be the true explanation of the origin 
of most of the attributes of the Heathen Deities^ and of the 
sacred animals of the Egyptians. Mythology, it is true, 
as at present taught, holds no such doctrine. It teaches 
that these emblems were invented by poets and priests, 
as typical of certain qualities, or embodying occult or 
mysterious meanings. Doubtless many emblematical de- 
vices were so invented, and with an express purpose; 
but the far larger number of them I conceive originated 
as I have suggested, and their symbolical character was 
an after-thought, and an imputed meaning, arising from 
ignorance of their real history and origin. This I shall 
attempt to show somewhat in detail hereafter. At pre- 
sent it will be necessary, as introductory, to examine the 
theories entertained about mythology in general. 

The child of to-day believes its nurse's tales, because 
every day's experience shows him new wonders, and 
strange aspects, which prepare his rudimentary judgment 
to admit the probability of other and unseen marvels. 
This credulity, in which his whole mind during child- 
hood is enveloped, gradually diminishes, till in manhood 


it is almost entirely thrown oflF, or so much of it only re- 
mains as is applied to matters which are uot of daily and 
personal concern, and in which he follows the habit of 
society, by surrendering his judgment into the hands of 
those whose special study they are made. These matters 
are Science, in its most comprehensive sense, and Theo- 
logy. The every day aflFairs of life must early, amongst 
the mass of mankind, have been judged inductively, or 
in the spirit of the Positive Philosophy. But it was 
long before this mode was applied to the phenomena of 
life and the universe, and then only tentatively, and by 
the enlightened few. But this scientific spirit, once so 
limited, has through ages, been extending its dominion, 
till it has at length invaded regions of thought and 
opinion, hitherto considered sacred from its approach, or 
impregnable to its attacks. And the time has arrived 
when every subject or system, which seeks to secure its 
validity or pretensions, is compelled to submit them to 
the application of this infallible touchstone, and to be 
judged accordingly. 

The science of Mythology, which concerns itself chiefly 
about the fables or tales, or mythical narratives of pre- 
tended deities, is a branch of the wider science of Theo- 
logy, which treats of the various Beliefs of Mankind 
respecting the Governing Powers of the Universe, in the 
first stage as Material and Sensible, and showing vari- 
able volition and capricious power ; and in the second, as 
Invisible and Immaterial, but still possessing volition 
and power, fixed by no limits, and regulated by no 

The fables of Mythology could not have been among 
the primitive beliefs of mankind.* The nurse of to-day 
is the depositary of tales gathered from many climes, 

* In the earliest stage of society we cannot suppose fable to have 
existed among men. Fables are always tales of other times. Fable 
requires a considerable space of time to acquire credibility, and to 
rise into reputation. Both the Chinese and Egyptians were alto- 
gether unacquainted with fabulous details in the most early periods 
of their respective monarchies. — Encyclopcedia Britannica 8th ed. 
Art. Mythology. 


and during many ages. The nurses of the world's in- 
fancy could have had no tales to tell of lions or elephants, 
if they had never seen or heard of such animals. The 
Incarnations of Vishnu, or the Labours of Hercules, 
could never as ideas have been invented, or scarcely con- 
ceived, by the primsBval man, for nothing like them came 
within his knowledge : experience tested belief, and ima- 
gination was limited by it. He could believe in the 
Life and Power of the Sea, for its manifestations appeared 
to him to evidence them. He could not believe in a 
Pegasus, though a mental picture might be formed of a 
bird's wings placed on a horse's back. How then came 
all the monstrous tales of mythology, to be believed in 
after ages, when it was impossible in the childhood of 
Man? Why, When, and by Whom were they in- 
vented ? 

These questions could not fail to engage the attention 
of philosophers in ancient times, who lived in the midst of 
a deeply-rooted Belief, that to them appeared absurd and 
inexplicable. Accordingly, some conceived the fables of 
Mythology to be Allegories, intended to convey instruc- 
tion in morals ; others, that they enveloped a secret 
meaning formerly known but afterwards lost. Euhe- 
merus* wrote a history of the Gods, in which he at- 

* " Everemus or Euhemerus was a Sicilian author, of tlie time of 
Alexander the Great, and his immediate successors. He became 
the founder of a peculiar method of interpreting the legends and 
mythi of the popular religion, which has often and not unjustly been 
compared with the rationalism of some modem theologians in Ger- 
many. * * He wrote a work containing accounts of the several 
gods, whom Everemus represented as having originally been men, 
who had distinguished themselves either as warriors, kings, inven- 
tors, or benefactors of man, and who, after their death, were wor- 
shipped as Gods by a grateful people. Zeus for example, was 
according to him, a king of Crete, who had been a great conqueror. 
* * This book, which seems to have been written in a popular 
style, must have been very attractive, for all the fables of mythology 
were dressed up in it as so many true historical narratives, and 
many of the subsequent historians, such as the uncritical Diodorus, 
adopted his mode of dealing with myths, or at least followed in his 
track, as we find to be the case with Polybius and Dibnysius. 
Traces of such a mode of treating myths occur, it is true, in He- 
rodotus and Thucydides, but Everemus was the first who carried it 


tempted to show that they had all been mortal men, and 
were deified for the benefits they conferred on mankind. 
Socrates being asked whether he believed the current 
Attic fable respecting the abduction of Oreithya, daugh- 
ter of Erectheus, by Boreas, says he might interpret it — 
a gust of Boreas blew her down from the rocks above, 
whilst she was at play, and that having been killed in 
this manner she was reported to have been carried off by 

"Another author," Mr. G-rote remarks (i. 553) "who seems to 
have conceived clearly and applied consistently the semi-historical 
theory of the Grecian mythes, is Palsephatus, of whose work what 
appears to be a short abstract has been preserved. * * He thinks 
that no narrative could ever have acquired credence, unless it had 
been founded in truth, and it is impossible for him to accept so 
much of the existing narratives as conflicts with the analogies of 
present natural phenomena. If such things ever had been, they 
would still continue to be, but they never have so occurred, and the 
extra analogical features of the stories are to bo ascribed to the 
licence of the facts. Palaephatus had taken great pains to separate 
the true from the false in many of the narratives ; he had visited 
the localities wherein they had taken place, and made careful en- 
quiries from old men and others. The result of his researches are 
presented in a new version of fifty legends, among the most cele- 
brated and the most fabulous, comprising the Centaurs, Pasiphae, 
Actseon, Cadmus and the Sparti, the Sphinx, Cycnus, Daedalus, the 
Trojan horse, -^olus, Scylla, G-eryon, Bellerophon, etc. * * The 
Centaurs he tells us were a body of young men from the village of 
Nephele in Thessaly, who first trained and mounted horses for the 
purpose of repelling a herd of bulls, belonging to Ixion, King of the 
LapithsB, which had run wild and did great damage ; they pursued 
these wild bulls on horseback, and pierced them with their spears, 
thus acquiring both the name of Prickers and the imputed attribute 
of joint body with the horse. Actseon was an Arcadian who neglected 
the cultivation of his land for the pleasures of hunting, and was eaten 
up by the expense of his hounds. The dragon, whom Cadmus killed 
at Thebes, was in reality Draco King of Thebes, and the dragon's 
teeth which he was said to have sown, and whence sprung a crop of 
armed men were in point of fact elephants' teeth, which Cadmus as 
a rich Phenician had brought over with him ; the sons of Draco sold 
these elephants' teeth and employed the proceeds to levy troops 

out systematically, and after his time it found numerous admirers. 
The great popularity of the work is attested by the circumstance 
that Ennius made a translation of it." — Smith's Dictionary of 

* Grote's History of Greece, i. 385. 


against Cadmus. DsBclalus instead of flying across the sea on 
wings, had escaped from Crete in a swift sailing boat under a violent 
storm. Kottus, Briareus and Gyges were not persons with 100 
hands, but inhabitants of the village of Katon Cheiria, in Upper 
Macedonia, who warred with the inhabitants of Mount Olympus 
against the Titans. Scylla, whom Odysseus so narrowly escaped, 
was a fast sailing piratical vessel, as was also Pegasus, the alleged 
winged horse of bellerophon." 

Mr. Grote has devoted a large portion of the first 
volume of his History of Greece, to the discussion of 
the entire subject of Greek Mythology in all its bear- 
ings, ancient and modem ; but in the words of Professor 
Max Miiller,* "he leaves the whole of Mythology as a 
riddle, that cannot and ought not to be solved, as some- 
thing irrational, as a past that was never present, de- 
clining even to attempt a partial explanation of this 
important problem in the Greek mind." 

Mr. Gladstone, Col. Mure, and Mr. Pococke, in his 
work India in Greece^ as opposed to Mr. Grote, consider 
Mythology to have had a basis of fact. The latter 
author's work (p. 119) contains the following sound and 
judicious observations on the subject : — 

** The G-recian Mythology undoubtedly possessed a basis which 
was neither inventive nor fictitious. What that basis was, is 
certainly not to be eliminated from either poet, or logographer 
or historian, independent of extraneous aids. Such aids are pre- 
sented to the enquiring mind in those two most durable records of 
a nation — its language and its monuments. These adjuncts, though 
of foreign origin, are fortunately available for the elucidation of 
Greek Mythology. 

The theory of the " Myth " as laid down by some distinguished 
German writers, and adopted by certain authors in this country, is 
at the best only capable of sound application, where a people has 
had no connection with another nation hy commerce, toar, religion, or 
other inter-communication — a category in fact which history scarcely 
supposes. "There is," says this theory, "in the human mind a 
tendency, when excited by any particular feeling, to body forth that 
feeling in some imaginary fact, scene, or circumstance, in the con- 
templation of which it may find relief." Again we are told that 
" whatever thought arose in a man's mind, whatever sensation varied 
his consciousness, could be expressed by him only in one way, namely, 
dragging forth the concrete images, fictions or inventions that he felt 
arise contemporaneously with it. 

* Comparative Mythology, Oxford Essays, p. 42. 


In a volume* elucidatory of the true sources of Greek legend, I 
shall demonstrate that the great mythi of antiquity are not feelings 
bodied forth to relieve the mind, still less are they concrete images, 
fictions and inventions. Wherever an important my thus has existed, 
an important y^c^ has been its basis. Great principles do not arise 
from idealities; a national myth cannot be generated without a 
national cause, and a national cause implies agency, not invention. 
After facts, obscuration may arise, the conditions of which latter 
are easier as the facilities of record are scarcer. Imitation then 
steps in, and supplies a garbled or exaggerated copy of the original ; 
but a theory deduced from the evidences oi feeling, is as mythical 
as a myth itself. 

For the immense mass of legendary matter that swells the early 
chronicles of Hellas, there are usually assigned three methods of 
interpretation : 1st. The Literal; 2ndly. The Rationalistic or Alle- 
gorical; 3rdly. The Mythical, which as we have observed considers 
the whole as purely fictitious matter, secreted from the Greek mind 
itself, with or without external stimulus. To these systems I shall 
add a fourth. The Pictorial or Imitative, of which I shall in the 
treatise referred to advance abundant evidences, and these evi- 
dences will still further have the effect of restoring some of the 
outlines of Grecian history, now nearly obliterated. 

The theories of the Eationalists are doubtless appli- 
cable in many cases to the solution and explanation of 
the problems of Mythology. But it was reserved for 
Philology to draw aside the curtain that had so long 
concealed the sources and hidden meaning of most of 
these unrevealed mysteries. '^ This key, which has un- 
locked almost all the secrets of Mythology, was placed 
in our hands by Professor Max Miiller, who has done 
more than all other writers to bring out the exquisite 
and touching poetry that underlies these ancient 
legends." f This he first explained in his ^' Essay 

* This would appear to be the author's work "India in Greece, or 
Truth in Mythology," in the Introduction to which he says, "I shall 
prove incontrovertibly not only that the siege of Troy, the Argonautic 
expedition, the history of Heracles, the history of Theseus, nay, the 
whole busy crowded scene of early Hellas, were distorted facts, but 
I shall demonstrate that the centaurs were not mythical, that the 
Athenian claim to the symbol of the grasshopper was not mythical, 
that the Autochthons were not mythical, that the serpent Pytho 
was not mythical, that Cadmus and the dragon's teeth were not 
mythical, that Zeus was not mythical, that Apollo was not mythical, 
that the Pierian muses were not mythical, that Cecrops was neither 
legendary nor mythical, but as historical as King Harold." 

t Cox's Manual of Mythology, p. xiv. 


on Comparative Mythology," in the Oxford Essays j 
and subsequently in other works. He shows how the 
Sanskrit names for the Sun and the Dawn, in the ancient 
hymns of the Veda, explain a whole host of not only 
Greek but Teutonic legends. ^^My own researches," 
he says, '' lead me again and again to the dawn and the 
sun, as the chief burden of the myths of the Aryan 
race." Again: "a whole world of primitive, natural, 
and intelligible mythology has been preserved to us in 
the Veda. The mythology of the Veda is to compara- 
tive mythology what Sanskrit has been to comparative 
Grammar. There is fortunately no system of religion 
or mythology in the Veda. Names are used in one 
hymn as Appellatives, in another as names of Gods. ♦ ♦ ♦ 
There are as yet no genealogies, no settled marriages 
between Gods and Goddesses. As the conceptions of 
the Poet varied, so varied the nature of these Gods." 

Before I consider objections to this system, as a com- 
plete explanation of the fables of Mythology, it will be 
desirable to give a fuller exposition of it, and illustra- 
tions. For this purpose I cannot do better than use the 
words of Mr. Cox before mentioned, and of two Eeviewers 
of his work, and the theories he expounds. Mr. Cox in 
his Preface says : 

" Mythology can be proved to be simply a collection of tbe sayings 
by wbich men once upon a time described whatever they saw and 
heard in countries where they lived. These sayings were all per- 
fectly natural, and marvellously beautiful and true. We see the 
lovely evening twilight die out before the coming night, but when 
they saw this, they said that the beautiful Eurydike had been stung 
by the serpent of darkness, and that Orpheus was gone to fetch her 
back from the land of the dead. We see the light which had va- 
nished in the west reappear in the east ; but they said that Eury- 
dike was now returning to the earth. And as this tender light is 
seen no more when the sun himself is risen, they said that Orpheus 
had turned round too soon to look at her, and so was parted from 
the wife whom he loved so dearly." 

" And as it is with this sad and beautiful tale of Orpheus and 
Eurydike, so it is with all those which may seem to you coarse or 
dull or ugly. They are so only because the real meaning of the 
names has been half-forgotten or wholly lost. (Edipus and Perseus, 
we are told, killed their parents, but it is only because the sun was 
said to kill the darkness from which it seems to spring. So, again, 


it was said that the sun was united in the evening to the light from 
which he rose in the morning ; but in the later story it was said that 
(Edipus became the husband of his mother locaste, and a terrible 
history was built upon this notion. But none of these fearful stories 
were ever made on purpose. No one ever sat down to describe gods 
and great heroes as doing things which all decent men would be 
ashamed to think of. There can scarcely be a greater mistake than 
to suppose that whole nations were suddenly seized with a strange 
madness which drove them to invent all sorts of ridiculous and con- 
temptible tales, and that every nation has at some time or other 
gone mad in this way." 

These views are amplified by an enthusiastic disciple 
of the new school,* whose arguments assume the form 
chiefly of a chain of rapid interrogatories that produce 
more perplexity than conviction ; that are hardly so satis- 
factory as Mr. Cox's Questions and Answer^ : — 

The more intelligent can scarcely fail to see that the mjrfchical 
heroes for the most part do and suffer the same things. Why, they 
may ask, are (Edipus and Paris, Telephus and Eomulus, Cyrus and 
Perseus exposed immediately after their birth ? Why do they all 
unwittingly slay their parents ? Why is almost every one of them 
parted from his first love ? Why is he reunited to her when his 
life-long toil has reached its close ? Why are Heracles and Belle- 
rophon, and Phoebus and Achilleus made to serve and labour for 
beings meaner than themselves ? Why do they all bear invincible 
weapbns ? Why do most of them die young ? Why do they journey 
from east to west, and meet their fate in the evening ? Why of all 
places in the world should (Edipus die in the grove of the Eume- 
nides ? Why should he alone understand the mutterings of the 
Sphinx ? Why should the drought cease as soon as the Sphinx is 
killed ? Why should the Argonauts go to Colchis for the golden 
fleece, and the Achaians to Ilion to bring back Helen ? Why should 
the characters of Achilleus, Paris, and Meleagros so closely resem- 
ble each other ? Why should Telemachus, Patroclos, and Phaeton 
be merely faint images of their father or their friend ? Why should 
Achilleus have undying horses? Why, on his return from Troy, 
should the one irrepressible impulse in the heart of Odysseus be the 
yearning to reach his home and see his wife once more? Why 
should Penelope weave and unweave her web ? Why, when Odys- 
seus wishes to see her, does she put off their meeting till the even- 
ing ? Why does the bull bear Europa from Phoenicia to Delphi ? 
Why should her mother be called Telephassa, and the mother of 
Telephos Auge ? Why should the nurse of Odysseus be Eurycleia ? 

* The Chronicle (a weekly review), April 6, 1867 : Art. Eeview of 
Dr. Smith's " Smaller Classical Mythology.*' 


"Why should Eos be jealous of Procris ; and why should Procris be 
slain in a thicket by the spear of Kephalos p * * * * 
The child will soon see that in those delightful books, Grimm's 
household Stories, and Dasent's Popular Tales from the Norse, he 
has many of the Greek stories told him all over again, the names of 
places and persons being, in many cases, all that is changed, and the 
local colouring varied according to the climate where the myth has 
been developed. He will find that the tale of " Eros and Psyche " 
is that of " Beauty and the Beast," and that many of its incidents 
recur in the " Young Giant,': in " Ashputtel," "The "White Snake," 
" The Two Brothers," " The Woodcutter's Daughter," and other 
stories in Grimm's collection, as well as in " East of the Sun and 
West of the Moon," in that of Dasent. He will be struck still more 
forcibly with the parallelism which runs between the story of Sigurd 
in the " Volsung Lay," and the legends of Theseus, Perseus, (Edi- 
pus, Heracles, and a host of others. Why, he may ask, does Odin 
leave a sword which is to be borne by him only who can draw it out 
from the oak trunk, just as JEgeus leaves his sword under a stone 
which Theseus must raise before he can wield it ? Why is the sword 
of Sigurd reforged by Kegin, the blacksmith of the King, just as 
Hephaestus makes new armour for Achilleus ? Why does his mo- 
ther, Hjordis, bring the sword to Sigurd just as I'hetis brings the 
armour to her son Achilleus ? Why should Sigurd have to slay a 
dragon, just as Apollo slays Python, and Perseus the Libyan mon- 
ster, as Theseus kills the Minotaur, and (Edipus vanquishes the 
Sphinx, and Heracles throttles the snakes which attack him in his 
cradle ? Why should he, like lamos and Melampus, understand the 
voices of birds ? Why should Brynhild, like Persephone, be wrapped 
in a six months' slumber? Why is Sigurd the only one who can 
deliver her, as Perseus is the only one who can rescue Andromeda ? 
Why should he first plight his faith to Brynhild and then forsake 
her, just as Theseus leaves Ariadne, as Heracles departs from lole, 
as Paris deserts (Enone ? Why should his faithlessness be followed 
by a punishment precisely the same as that which overtook Paris ? 
Why should Brynhild forgive and die with Sigurd as (Enone for- 
gives and dies with Paris ? And why should the tale be repeated in 
the myth of Sigurd's son, Eagnar Lodbrog ? 

The Eeviewer having arrived at the last link of this 
lengthy interrogative concatenation, after some further 
remarks, gives the following instructive comparisons il- 
lustrative of the new system : 

Whatever may be said of the comparative method of interpreta- 
tion as a whole, a large number of inferences respecting the myths 
of the Greek and the Eoman world have passed from the region of 
theory into that of fact. It is no mere " view " which maintains 
that the Greek Zeus-pater is the Sanskrit Dyaus-pitar, from the 
root dyu, to shine. It is not a matter of doubt that the Homeric 


Paris is the Yedic Pani, the seducer of Sarama, and that Sarama is 
the Spartan Helen, another form of the name being found in Hermes 
and Sarpedon, and all being traced to the root sar^ to creep. There 
is no doubt, again, that the gloomy Erinys of the Greek is the beau- 
tiful Saranyu, the creeping dawn light of the Veda, and that we 
have here the reason for the death of (Edipus in the sacred grove of 
the Eumenides. It is no mere theory which sees the Greek Eros in 
the Vedic Arusha, the newly-risen sun, represent-ed as a lovely child, 
and which recognizes the graceful Charites in the Harits or glisten- 
ing horses which draw the chariot of Indra across the heaven and 
reappear in the Xanthos and Balios who are yoked to the ear of 
Achilleus. There is no room for doubt that the Argive Phoroneus 
(who, by the way, is not admitted into this manual) is the same as 
the Vedic Bhuranyu, both being alike styled the givers of fire to 
men. In Cerberus or Kerberos, beyond all doubt, we have the 
Sanskrit Carvara, in Briseis the offspring of Brisaya, conquered by 
the bright powers, in the Veda, before they can recover the treasures 
stolen by Pani, In Athena, again, and in Daphne we have the 
Ahana, (Dahana), or morning goddess of the Indian land, and in 
Ouranos the mysterious Varuna who spreads his veil over the broad 
earth beneath him. It is no random guess which sees in Argynnis, 
the beloved of Agamemnon, the Sanskrit arjuni (the brilliant, a 
name for the dawn), and in Ares and Mars, the Aloadae and Mo- 
liones, recognizes the Sanskrit Maruts and the Teutonic Thor Mi- 
olnir. As little is there room for doubt that the Vedic Ahi, the 
Greek Echidna, becomes the Persian Azidahltka, or Zohak ; that 
Vritra, another name for Ahi, the cloud enemy of Indra, becomes 
the Persian Verethra, while his slayer, Vritrahan, reappears in Ve- 
rethragna and the modern Eeridun. 

The Saturday Review of March 2 and 16, 1867, con- 
tains lengthy reviews of Mr. Cox's work ; this high cri- 
tical authority remarks " That the researches of compa- 
rative mythologists, so well summed up in Mr. Cox's 
Manual of Mythology^ are in the main tending in the right 
direction, is, we believe, admitted by all whose opinion 
on such matters carries much weight," and for the most 
part acquiesces in the views of the new school. Its ob- 
servations therefore may be appropriately produced as au- 
thoritatively indicating and further exemplifying them : 

If we read in G^reek mythology that Helios was the brother of 
Eos and Selene, this needs no commentary. Helios means the sun, 
Eos the dawn, Selene the moon; nor does it require any great 
stretch of poetical imagination to understand how these three 
heavenly apparitions came to be called brother and sisters. But if 
we read that Apollo loved Daphne, that Daphne fled before him and 


was changed into a laurel- tree, we have here a myth before us which 
yields no sense till we know the original meaning of Apollo and 
Daphne. Now Apollo was a solar deity, and although comparative 
philologists have not yet succeeded in finding the true etymology of 
Apollo, no doubt can exist as to his original character. The name 
of Daphne, however, could not have been interpreted without the 
aid of comparative philology, and it is not till we know that Daphne 
was originally a name of the dawn, that we begin to understand the 
meaning of tne myth. It was by taking myths which were still half 
intelligible, like those of Apollo and Daphne, Selene and Endymion, 
Eos and Tithonos, that the first advance was made towards a right 
interpretation of G^reek and Roman legends. If we read that Pan 
was wooing Pitys, and that Boreas, jealous of Pan, cast Pitys from 
a rock, and that in her fall she was changed into a pine-tree, we 
need but walk with our eyes open along the cliffs of Bournemouth 
in order to see the meaning of that myth. Boreas is the G-reek for 
north- wind, Pitys for pine-tree. But what is Pan ? Clearly another 
deity representmg the wind in its less destructive character. The 
same Pan is called the lover of the nymph Echo, and of Syrinx. 
Why Pan, the wind, should be called the lover of Echo, requires no 
explanation. # # # # # 

Mr. Cox has well delineated the general character of the most 

J)opular heroes of ancient mythology : — " In a very large number of 
egends [he says], the parents, warned that their own offspring will 
destroy them, expose their children, who are saved by some wild 
beast and brought up by some herdsman. The children so recovered 
always grow up beautiful, brave, strong, and generous ; but, either 
unconsciously or against their will, they fulfil the warnings given 
before their birth, and become the destroyers of their parents. Per- 
seus, (Edipus, Cyrus, Eomulus, Paris, are all exposed as infants, are 
all saved from death, and discovered by the splendour of their coun- 
tenances and the dignity of their bearing. Either consciously or 
unconsciously Perseus kills Acrisios, Qildipus kills Laios, Cyrus 
kills Astyages, Eomulus kills Amulius, and Paris brings about the 
ruin of Priam and the city of Troy." Mr. Cox shows that all these 
names are solar names, and that the mythical history of every one 
of these heroes is but a disguise of language. # * * Certain 
names, expressions, and phrases sprang up, originally intended to 
describe the changes of the day and the seasons of the year ; after 
a time these phrases became traditional, idiomatic, proverbial ; they 
ceased to be literally understood, and were misunderstood and mis- 
interpreted into mythical phraseology. At first the phrase " Perseus 
will kill Acrisios " meant no more than that light will conquer dark- 
ness, that the sun will annihilate the night, that the mom is coming. 
If each day was called the child of the night, it might be truly said 
that the young child was destined to kill its parents, that CEdipus 
must kill Laios. And if the violet twilight, lokaste, was called the 
wife of the nocturnal Laios, the same name of lokaste, as the violet 
dawn, might be given to the wife of (Edipus. Hence that strangely 
entangled skein of mythological sayings which poets and philosor 


phers souglit to disentangle as well as they could, and which at last 
was woven into that extraordinary veil of horrors which covers the 
real sanctuary of Grreek religion. 

But if this be so— and strange as it may sound at first, the evi* 
dence brought in support of this interpretation of mythology is 
irresistible — it would seem to follow that Perseus, and (Edipus, and 
Paris, and Romulus could none of them claim any historical reality. 
Most historians might be prepared to give up Perseus, (Edipus, and 
Paris, perhaps even Romulus and Remus ; but what about Cyrus ? 
Cyrus, like the other solar heroes, is known to be a fatal child ; he 
is exposed, he is saved, and suckled, and recognized, and restored to 
his royal dignity, and by slaying Astyages he fulfils the solar pro- 
phecy as completely as any one of his compeers. Tet, for all that, 
Cyrus was a real man, an historical character, whose flesh and bone 
no sublimating process will destroy. Here then we see that mytho- 
logy does not always create its own heroes, but that it lays hold of 
real history, and coils itself round it so closely that it is difficult, 
nay, almost impossible, to separate the ivy from the oak, or the 
lichen from the granite to which it clings. 

The discovery that a large portion of the myths and 
legends of almost all parts of the globe, can be traced to 
a Sanskrit poem, one of the oldest writings in the world, 
and dating at least 1200 b. c, may well be looked on as 
startling. It is a discovery that sheds a flood of light 
over the whole field of Literature, ancient and modem : 
it illumines the history of the human intellect, of the 
origin and progress of ideas, more even than the Laws 
of the Evolution of Thought, laid down by Auguste 
Comte. It stands in the same relation to Theology and 
Mental Philosophy, that the theory of Gravitation, and 
the Darwinian theory of Origin of Species, do to Physical 
Science. It testifies to the paucity of our original simple 
ideas, and shows the mental process and filiation of the 
marvellous combinations and metamorphoses which are 
produced in Man's mental laboratory. 

But though this Discovery is pregnant with yet unde- 
veloped importance, and explains a host of World-wide 
legends, yet the school of Comparative Mythologists, to 
whom it has given birth, like the enthusiasts of a new 
Doctrine, extend its application beyond its limits, when 
they attempt to resolve all unaccredited histories, all un- 
attested narratives, all traditionary heroes and tales, into 
3olar myths, embellished by fancy and distorted by fie- 


tion. Such exaggeration is like the endeavour to ascer- 
tain weight by measure, to explain the phenomena of 
electricity by the law of gravitation. 

The Veda is a poem that personifies the Sun in its 
boundless influences and relations. Poetry, ancient and 
modem, is full of Personification. The description of 
the various aspects and diversified affinities of natural 
objects and of the Powers of Nature, is natural to the 
poetical faculty and one of its first inspirations. But 
such a poem as the Yeda could not have been composed 
till after a very considerable advance in civilization and 
intellectual culture. It must* have been coincident with, 
and posterior to a mass of ballad literature and poetry, 
commemorating a variety of subjects. It is not difficidt 
to understand why before writing was generally prac- 
tised, one great work should have survived its contem- 
poraries, as the Iliad did, and as the Hebrew Sacred 
Writings did other writings mentioned in them, and as 
even since the art of Printing, new works have super- 
seded old, and many have altogether perished. The 
Veda from its excellence and its religious character, be- 
came sacred and was preserved* Other writings of in- 
ferior interest and value ceased to be handed down, and 
were finally forgotten. The bidk of the literature of 
the middle ages is religious or semi-religious. The pro- 
portion of popular ballads is small compared with the 
Lives and Legends of the Saints. Eeligion has in all 
times absorbed or teied to absorb, when it could not 
extinguish and exclude, secular literature. It has dis- 
placed or transformed what it considered could not be 
consistently embodied in the teachings of its priesthood, 
or stood in competition with the lessons it inculcated.* 

* After Christianity genealogists deduced their heroes not from 
Woden but Noah ; these genealogies sprung not from any erroneous 
historical data, but from the turn of the religious feeling. * * Chris- 
tian writers such as Saxo Grammaticus and Snorro Sturleson com- 
mitted to writing the ancient oral songs of the Scandinavian scalds. 
— Grote's Hist, of Greece (i. 620). 

Prom the introduction of Christianity [into Ireland] all literature 
or written matter remained in the custody of ecclesiastics, the le- 
gends of the Bards having been orally communicated. * * We read 


What has become then of the history of mankind — of 
its heroes, its benefactors, its contests, and its deeds ? 

that St. Patrick caused more than 180 volumes of ancient Irish 
theology to be burned. — Keane's Temples and Towers of Irelatid, 
p. 45. 

Not only the buildings and localities connected with the worship, 
but the customs and traditions of Heathenism passed over to Chris- 
tian uses. Heathen feasts became saints' days ; legends of the 
Heathen gods became ascribed to Christian mythical saints, and the 
localities venerated on account of their association with Heathen 
legends and worship, became the favourite sites of Christian churches 
and monasteries. (Ibid. p. 30.) The so called Christian saints of the 
5th and 6th centuries of Ireland, with the exception of St. Patrick and 
a few others, were the divinities or hero gods worshipped by the 
Cuthites, Scythians, etc., and Cuthite superstitions traditionally 
preserved were the origin of Irish legendary hagiology. (Ibid. In- 
troduction p. XX.) Thus Dagon the god of the Philistines becomes 
St. Dagan ; Cronos the Titan, St. Cronan ; Vulcain, (= Tubal-Cain) 
St. Bolcain ; Shanaun, the ancient Ana (Di-ana) the mother of the 
gods, St. Shanaun ; and Canaan, St. Cainan. (Ibid.) 

Architecture and Sculpture have contributed largely to the pre- 
servation of the symbols and allegorical figures of extinct or su- 
perseded modes of faith. "Turner in his Antiquities of Normandy 
describing sculptures on the capitals of St. George's church, Bocher- 
ville, says * Another appears to allude to the battle between the fol- 
lowers of ^neas and the Harpies. It would not perhaps be going 
too far to say that many of the oilers have reference to the Northern 
Mythology, and some of them probably to Scandinavian history.' 
Some of the ornaments which Turner describes as Heathen are 
among the devices which Mr. Keane explains as illustrations of 
Cuthite mythology. These conclusions are further corroborated by 
the fact that St. Michael's mount — the site of an ancient Norman 
church of much celebrity — is stated in Mr. Turner's work, according 
to tradition, to have been devoted to the worship of the great lumi- 
nary of Heaven, under his Gaelic name Balenus, a title probably 
derived from the Hebrew Baal. ' ' ( Gentleman's Magazine, Feb. 1868. ) 

There are two pieces of early sculpture on the western wall of 
the south aisle of St. Nicholas' cnurch, Ipswich. They are evidently 
taken from an earlier structure, possibly from the church of St. 
Michael, which is supposed to have occupied this site. St. Michael 
on foot with wings sword and shield, encounters a dragon ; above is 
the figure of a hoar. ( Joum. of Arch. Association i. 146.) 

Mr. King in his " Manual of Antique Gems " (p. 140) tells us 
that " the monks of Durham took the head of Jupiter Pulgurator 
for St. Oswald, and as such placed it on their common seal with 
the title CaptU Sancti Oswaldi, * * Seffrid Bp. of Chichester who 
died 1159, chose for his actual episcopal ring the figure of the serpent- 
legged Abraxas deity, rudely engraved on jasper." [Other instances 
of this kind given by Mr. King are quoted in Chap. IV. p. 37 J 



It must have been composed ; it must have been tradi- 
tionally handed down ; after the invention of writing, it 

And (p. 100) he remarks " Primitive Christianity has been as remark- 
ably unproductive in glyptic monuments as its great rival the 
Gnosis has been fhiitfiU. The latter well described as the * spirit 
of the ancient religions warring against the Church,' had availed it- 
self of all their machinery, and notably of the powerful media, 
talismans and annulets, to establish its empire over the soul. 
Whereas the former regarded with horror every representation of 
the human form. * * Clemens Alexandrinus, writing in the middle 
of the second century, restricts the choice of devices on signets, to a 
few simple emblems, as the anchor, lyre, ship under sail, the dove 
and the fisherman. * * The anchor had been the family badge of 
the SeleucidsB.; from them their former slaves, the Asmonaean kings 
of JudsBa, adopted it as their type on their coinage, and thence it 
descended to the Christians, being furthermore recommended by the 
similarity of its outline to the cross. The lyre was the engraving on 
the most celebrated signet of all antiquity, the emerald of Polycrates. 
The ship pointed out that life is but a voyage. The Dove had been 
ever to Assyrians and Persians the special emblem of the Godhead." 
Indeed a long chapter or a volume might be written in exemplifica- 
tion of the embodiments of the symbols, the doctrines, the rites and 
ceremonies of one Religion by another. Mr. King, in his work 
Gnostics and their Bemains (Preface p. vi.) observes " In the history 
of the first four centuries of the church everything that was de- 
nounced as heretical may be traced up to Indian speculative philo- 
sophy as its genuine fountain head : how much that passed current 
for orthodox had really flowed from the same source it is neither ex- 
pedient nor decorous now to inquire." 

It was not unusual for St. Patrick to dedicate Pagan monuments 
to the honour of God. Pope Gregory the Great recommended that 
the temples of the Pagans should not be destroyed — only the idols 

Many of the designs in sculpture and in fresco found in the cata- 
combs [at Rome] which have been conceived to be symbols veiling 
some religious dogma or principle, are nothing more than adoptions 
or copies of pagan personifications and customs by their Christian 
successors. How else are we to interpret the draped figure stand- 
ing before an altar on which a fire is kindled, and presenting a 
dish of fruits to a serpent, carved on a sarcophagus, combined with 
representations of incidents in the New Testament, the introduc- 
tion in like manner of Orpheus etc. in the paintings ? In the 
sculpture of early Christian art we find much is borrowed from 
heathen myths, in the story of Jonah, the storm is personified by a 
Triton blowing through a shell; Iris over the sail indicates the 
tranquillity that followed the ejection of the prophet, and the fish is 
copied from sculptures representing Andromeda and the sea-mon- 
ster. Similar inconsistencies occur in representation of passages in 
the history of Noah, Daniel, etc. The common type of the Good 


must have been recorded on brass and stone, on papyrus 
or other material. It could not, in its most striking in- 
cidents, its memorable deeds, and its extraordinary ac- 
tors, have altogether perished and been forgotten. It 
must have mingled with, have been embodied and trans- 
formed in the legends and myths, the narratives and 
poems that the pen and the memory of countless ages 
have preserved for us through the wrecks caused by the 
devastating hand of Time.* 

To disentangle then, and eliminate if possible, the 
historical from the mythical element of legendary tales, 
whether mythological or purely allegorical, is the task 
set before the historical archaeologist, and the compara- 
tive mythologist. This however by some is considered 
impracticable. Sir C. Lewis, justly condenming Nie- 
buhr's historical divination, or plan of reconstructing 
history by extruding all that is miraculous and mythical 
and inconsistent, and regarding the residuimi as pro- 
bable fact, considers all endeavours thus to get at the 
truth as futile, and that no legend or narrative however in- 
herently probable is at all trustworthy, unless corroborated 
by cotemporary witnesses. Mr. Grote adopts the same 
view. "As to what degree of truth'' he says "there 
there may be in these tales it is impossible to ascertain, 
and useless to inquire." But these sweeping estimates 

Shepherd seems suggested by some of the popular pictures of Pan, 
and partly perhaps from those of Orpheus. — Eeview of Maitland's 
Church in the Catacombs in Archaological Journal, ii. 396. 

* The Niebelungen Lied of the 12th century embodies the solar 
myths of the Edda, and localizes and individualizes them in the per- 
sons and places of Burgundy, during the 4th 5th and 6th centuries. 
Gunther is localized in Burgundy, where a.d. 435 a real Grunther 
was king. Other historical persons were drawn into the vortex of the 
popular story, for whom there was no precedent at all in the Edda. 
* * There are evidently historical facts round which the myth of 
Herakles has crystallized, only we cannot substantiate them so 
clearly as in the myth of the Niebelungen, because we have there no 
cotemporary historical documents. As the chief Herakles is repre- 
sented as belonging to the royal family of Argos, there may have 
been a Herakles, perhaps the son of a king called Amphitryo, whose 
descendants after a temporary exile reconquered that part of Greece 
which had formerly been under the sway of Herakles. — Max 
•MuUer's Comparative Mythology. 


of what is possible and desirable, are surely unworthy of 
these eminent writers. They seem impatient to get 
away from exploring ruins and tracing foundations, and 
hurry on to contemplate and study the more complete 
remains left standing, — structures only partially shat- 
tered, and temples imposing even in their dilapidation. 
But this movement from one extreme to another must 
beget a reaction. As Mr. Gladstone says "We once 
exalted into history the general mass of traditions re- 
lating to the ages which next preceded those of con- 
tinuous historic records. We now again decline the 
labour of discrimination, and reduce them all alike into 
legend."* The remains of antiquity, whether verbal or 
material, are too precious to be tossed aside as a heap of 
rubbish undeserving of examination. The disjecta mem- 
bra of history, the utilizing and re-constructive spirit of 
the age will not allow thus to perish. Philology and 
Geology would never have become sciences, and let such 
light into .the Past, if this spirit of Neglect and Contempt 
had prevailed against the ardour and the hope of their 

The names of men and places mixed up in these mythi- 
cal tales are not all names of the Dawn and the Sun, — 
of the Ocean into which he sinks at night, of the Sky 
from which he "cometh out in the morning like a 
bridegroom from his chamber.'' We have local names 
which Geography verifies, and personal names which 
History attests. If Philology has proved many personal 
names to be the names in Sanskrit of the Sun and the 
Dawn, may it not be able to inform us whence come and 
what mean the local names of mythology ? Mr. Pococke 
in his ingenious but neglected work, India in Greece^ has 
shown a large number of the geographical names of 
Greece to be identical with those of India. This indeed 
might be expected when the mythology of Greece is 
shown to have come also from the same country. But 
what mean these Indian names of places ? The eponymi 
of Greece are clearly fictions. But were those of India ?f 

. * Oxford Essays, 1857. p. 49. 

t In the east Tribal and even Ethnic names were certainly some- 


How names of men arose, how they imposed them on 
towns they built, and countries they colonized, will be 
explained in another chapter. The names then of per- 
sons that cannot be traced up to appellatives and epi- 
thets in Sanskrit, and of places that cannot be discovered 
in names of inanimate objects, may be justly placed in 
the category of names of real men and real places. The 
names of the Iliad have all a Greek sound and form. 
That is a strong presumption that no real Trojan heroes 
of a real Trojan war existed. But we get a Greek no- 
menclature, and can analyse it as we can the nomen- 
clature of Domesday book, where we find distinct Saxon 
and distinct Norman names. So in Froissart, the war- 
riors of the English King Edward have an English sound, 
and of the French King Philip, a French aspect. We 
are enabled in this way, by Philology and Geography, 
to separate the names of persons and places of Mytho- 
logy, and to assign to each class its origin ; that is to 
say, these are the labours that must engage the atten- 
tion of the students of Philology, Geography, and Eth- 
nology, in order to disentangle from the Labyrinth of 
Mythology the threads of real history with which it is 
imdoubtedly entwined. 

These labours I conceive will be materially assisted 
by Heraldry — by taking into account the hereditary and 
permanent emblems of chiefs and nations and tribes, as 
discoverable in the ways pointed out in this work, and 
above all, by viewing them in connection with religious 
symbols, and the attributes of mythological deities. 

I now propose therefore to show the bearing of He- 
raldry on Mythology. Indeed, when investigation shows 
that there is scarcely any ancient heraldic charge or 

times derived from actual persons ; and it may be questioned whether 
the Persians or the Iranian stock generally haa the notion of inventing 
personal eponyms. There are no heroes eponymi in the Zendavesta, 
and none in any genuine Persian tradition. The Perses from whom 
the Greeks derived the nation or their kings was no real Persian 
hero. (Bawlinson's Ancient Monarchies, iv. 351.) Cyrus was of 
the clan of the AchsBmenidse, cotemporary with six great houses 
which had priority of all other grandees, (ibid. iv. 179.) 


bearing that is not found amongst the symbols of the reU- 
gions of antiquity, this connection requires no demonstra- 
tion. But what has never before been attempted, is to 
show that almost all these emblems connected with mytho- 
logy had originally a purely heraldic significance, that is, 
were the chosen marks or insignia of warrior chieftains, 
and mhseqaenUy became of sacred and mystic import. 

All the infiiiite forms of the pre-Christian Cross had 
their origin in the Phallus.* This and the correspond- 
ing member, known in Hindoo idolatry, as the Lingam 
and Yoni, could never originally have become sacred 
symbols, and been worshipped as such, on account of 
their representing the reproductive function. We do 
not find the five senses typified, and their representative 
symbols made objects of religious regard, except perhaps 
as a whole, and unless the five globes sometimes placed 
pyramid-wise and at others in the form of a cinqfoil in 
Hindoo Temples may be considered to have that signifi- 
cance.t The eye, the ear, the heart, the nose, the mouth 
are not found kt any system of Religion as typical ob- 
jects of idolatry. The human hand alone, with the 
exceptions named, has had a sacred symbolical import as 

* There are now no me&ns of determining at what particular epoch 
in the world's history, the worship of the lingam in India, of Poer- 
apis in Egypt, of the rhallus in G-reece,or Priapus inEome originated. 
But according to the received chronology of the Bible, the worship of 
Baal Peor prevailed among the Moabites 1450 b.c. or long before it 
was introduced into Europe.^--£^c?i«5wr^A Review, April, 1867. 

The Phallus has been observed among the idols of the native 
Americans (Lafitan, Mceurs des Sauvages) and ancient Scandinavians. 
The 1st of May was a great Phallic festival among the ancient Bri- 
tons and Hindoos ; it being still celebrated with nearly the same 
rites in both countries. — Pajme Knight's Inquiry, etc. p. 14. 

t ITie following lines from the Hymn to Cama, Q-od of Love, 
translated by Sir "Wm. Jones (Vans Kennedy, Affinity of Ancient 
and Hindu Mythology , p. 297) seem to indicate that the sacred or- 
nament of the cinqfoil, decorating Hindoo deities, Assyrian mo- 
narchs, and the robes of the Merovingian and Carlovingian kings, 
symbolized the five senses : 

He bends the luscious cane, and twists the string, 
AVith bees, how sweet ! but ah ! how keen their sting ! 
He with five flowerets tips thy ruthless darts. 
Which through five senses pierce enraptured hearts. 

Heraldry of mythology. 73 

'we have seen in Mexico, in Ireland, and on the Koman 
standards. And this from the same canse doubtless as 
the Phallus had. Mutilation is one of the first modes of 
wreaking vengeance on the body of a vanquished enemy, 
amongst a savage and barbarous people. The horrors of 
the Indian Mutiny witnessed many instances of this vin- 
dictive practice, and it will be remembered that in the 
Aflfghan war the person of Sir William Macnaghten was 
treated with the greatest possible indignity. It is quite 
in accordance with this savage instinct, that in pre-his- 
toric times some Paris, in some great war arising as the 
Trojan war did, might have been conquered, captured, 
and mutilated, and a trophy have been exhibited, which 
gave rise to the worship of the Phallus ; and that in 
another case the right hand of some great offender have 
been cut off and carried in triumph as a trophy. 

Nani fuit ante Helenam cunnus teterrima belli 
Causa : sed ignotis periemnt mortibus illi, 
Quos Yenerem incertam rapientes more ferarum, 
ViribuB editior csedebat, ut in grege taurus.* 

It is just such accidents'^ as these that exalt into impor- 
,tance the meanest object; and afterwards Time conse- 
crates the distinction. 

Subsequently when an inventive priesthood extended 
the forms and ceremonies of religious worship, it may be 
conceived that the grossness of the idolatry in question 
would be mitigated by giving it a new form, and making 
it complete as a symbolical representation of the general 
reproductive powers of Nature. This produced the cru<v 
ansata of the Egyptians, and eventually the plain cross 
in all its infinite diversity of forms. 

In the plates of Moor's Hindoo Pantheon are figured 
the Sectarial marks or Symbols of the Buddhist priests ; 
amongst these are the Triangle, two Triangles intersected, 

* Hor. Sat. iii. 107-110. 

t The blacksmith's leather apron was thus suddenly adopted by 
the Persians as a standard ; and Homer tells us that Agamemnon 

'- lifted in his hand 

His purple robe, bright ensign of command. 

(Pope's lUad viii. 269-70.) 


a circle within a triangle, a triangle within a circle, the 
crescent, the Fylfot or Buddhist mystic cross,* the cinq- 
foil, ANNULET, and an oval annulet. This latter was 
another form of the Yoni, and was no doubt the type 
of the heraldic mascle, which is met with frequently 
amongst the Koman legionary emblems. 

The FLEUR DE Lisf had its origin in the lotusj flower 

* The Fylfot is found universally spread amongst the hierogly- 
phics of Egypt ; in the grave chambers of Etruria, and on the Scan- 
dinavian Bunic stones and staffs, as well as on our own pre-historic 
coins, and those of Gaul. It is found in three varying types, — ^in 
the common four-bent arms, in the triangular shape, and by three 
curved lines. — Paper on Eunes, by the late Dr. "Wm. Bell in Journal 
of Archmological Association (xxiii. 387). 

t The fleur de lis is found in remains from Babylon, and in sculp- 
tures from Nineveh. It is sometimes seen on the crowns of the 
Byzantine Empresses, and is often met with at Constantinople in 
the paintings oi the early Greek artists (Archaologia, vol. 35 : Art. by 
Mr. Wylie " On the Angon or Barbed Javelm of the Pranks). 
Montfaucon in his great work gives engravings of the statues of the 
Merovingian, Carlovingian, and Capetian kings, on whose sceptres and 
crowns the fleur de lis is distinctly represented. But it is remark- 
able that it does not occur on the ancient Greek or Roman shields. 

X The cathedrals and churches of Spain bear in addition to their 
peculiar arms, those of the Virgin, the Isis of Spain, a branch of 
lilies issuing from a vase with two handles (un jarro de acucenas : 
the word azucena is Arabic, and derived from the root zuzan chaste.) 
The true explanation of this hieroglyphic is the incarnation of the 
deity bom of a virgin, the issue of the woman alone. It is a revival 
of the water-lily, the lotus, the symbol of the fecundity and repro- 
ductive power of nature. This Imcina sine conmbitu nas been im- 
memorially connected in the most ancient creeds with certain man- 
drakes, bulbs and flowers. The lotus is emblematic of the fertility 
of the Nile, — the self-created deity arose from its petals. Harpo- 
crates with finger on lip, and seated in the flower, indicated the 
generation of all things, and the divine principle of life. The lotus 
was the emblem of Isis and Ganga, the goddess of the Nile and the 
Ganges. In the Hindoo Sheeva Purana, Vishnu when about to 
create the universe produced a lotus, from the unfolded flowers 
of which the incarnate Bramah proceeded. Therefore the kernel 
was held sacred by the Brahmins. This mystery was revealed 
to Pythagoras by the Indian priests; on his return he substi- 
tuted the Bean, because the lotus did not grow in Greece. The 
bridal couch of Jupiter and Juno is described by Homer aa 
strewed with the lotus flower. Lotis the virgin daughter of Nep- 
tune was changed into this flower when flying from the love of 
Priapus. Juno becomes the mother of Mars solely by touching 
this flower. In the middle ages an idea was prevalent that any 


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which is frequently seen in the Hindoo temples, and had 
various mystical meanings typifying the reproductive 
energies of Nature. 

The MULLET, or star, and Crescent of course represented 
the Sun and Moon, and when they occur in conjunc- 
tion, as they often do, on ancient medals, they signified 
the union of the Solar and Lunar worship. 

We have considered in a previous chapter (II.) what 
was probably the origin of the heraldic bearings of 


chevron, bar, or pale, which in heraldry are styled Or- 
dinaries, was evidently nothing more than a reduction to 
one on a shield, that originally had the whole field occu- 
pied with a number of them. 

The Escallop shell, is scarcely if at all met with in 
ancient Heraldry. It perhaps had its origin in the leaf- 
like> figure inscribed with 5 chevrons so often met with 
in Assyrian ornamentation.* It occurs on coins of 
Zanele.f It would appear to have had some significance 
in connection with the dead, or with fimeral rites, for a 
leaden coffin of the Eoman period found near Colchester 
is impressed with this object and an annulet aan^ nomhre ;% 
and another found in Battersea fields, was entirely co- 
vered with impressions of the escallop. § 

The serpent or dragon in Mythology, and ancient He- 
raldry, was remarkably conspicuous. In Mediaeval or 
Modem Heraldry it is singularly rare, though the convo- 

female who ate the common lily would become pregnant. A mys- 
terious importance has been long attached to the lily in Spain. 
A.D. 1043, Garcia VI of Navarre founded at Najera, the Order of 
our Lady and the Lily, on the occasion of the discovery of an image 
of the Virgin issuing from that flower with the infant in her arms. — 
Quarterly Review, June, 1838. 

* It is not easy to account for the origin of the shell as a badge 
worn by pilgrims, but it decidedly refers to much earlier oriental 
customs than the journeys of Christians to the Holy Land, and its 
history will probably be found in the mythology of eastern nations. 
It was an ancient symbol of Astarte. — Clarke's Travels in Greece, 
p. 538. 

t Numismatic Chronicle i. 40. 

X Joum. Brit. Arch. Assoc, ii. 297. 

§ Ibid. vii. 376, and iii. 308. 


lutions of its body have formed a mode of ornamentation 
in beautiful interlaced work characteristic of Celtic and 
Irish art that nndoubtedly resulted in the heraldic 
bearing of Fretty, which in antiquity is discovered only 
in Mexico and Assyria. In the ArchcBologia (vol. 36) is 
an article " On the Graves of the Alemanni at Oberflacht 
in Suabia" by W. M. "Wylie Esq., who observes — 

" The serpent forms sculptured on the coflBn lids would alone suf- 
fice to convince us of the Heathen-Teutonic character of their graves, 
even if all further evidence were wanting. In the old legends and 
superstitions of Germany and Scandinavia the serpent dragon is a 
very favourite myth. * * The serpent was sacred to Odin. The 
serpent ornamentation occurs on the Bauta and Runic stones on 
old Scandinavian ships and on articles of dress. * * Under the 
image of a golden serpent the Lombards who came from the north 
of Q-ermany appear to have worshipped Odin himself. The Li- 
thuanians, too, appear to have worshipped the serpent. In fact it 
would appear that the tribes of Nortnem Q-ermany and Sclavonia 
generally regarded the serpent with feelings of superstitious t*eve- 
rence and awe. * * But the serpent myth of Q-reeks, Eomans, and 
Scandinavians was possibly derived from one primeval source."* 

* In the Archaologia (vol. 25) are " Observations on Dracontia " 
by Eev. J. B. Deane, from which the following are extracts :— r 

" The hierogram of the Sun was a circle. The temples of the Sun 
were circular. The Arkites adored the personified Ark of Noah. 
Their temples were built in the form of a ship. The Ophites 
adored a serpent deity ; the temple assumed the figure of a serpent. 
The Ophite nierogram was variously delineated. The most common 
form was the serpent passing through a globe or circle, or two ser- 
pents issuing from it in opposite directions. * * The worship of the 
Sun and the Serpent were originally independent of each other, but 
were subsequently united, and afterwards merged into one, the wor- 
ship of Apollo. The legend of Apollo taking possession of the temple 
at Delphi alludes to the subversion of Python, the worship of the ser- 
pent by the worshippers of the sun : but the Pythian priestess, the 
Dracontic tripod, and the live serpents were kept in adyta of the 
temple. The dominant religion in every country has adopted some 
of tne usages of the superseded ritual, and the victors have uni- 
formly planted the standard of their faith on the sacred places of the 
vanquished. * * In almost every old city of Christendom, the Christian 
church is built on the site of a heathen temple, as if it were a pos- 
tulate of natural religion that a spot once set apart for religious ' 
uses should be consecrated for ever. 

The hostility between the Sun and the Serpent, between the good 
and evil genius may be traced in Persia, in India, in Greece, in 
Mexico and Peru, in all of which countries the worshippers of the 
Sun prevailed over and nearly exterminated those of the serpent. 


This wide diffusion of Serpent-worship is remarkable, 
and apparently inexplicable: and so is the veneration 

In Colonel Tod's History of Bajahstan, we have an account of the 
persecutions which the Snake worshippers experienced from the 
rest of their countrymen ; and the Indian mythology is full of the 
enmity of the children of Surya (the Sun) against tne followers of 
Budh, the Serpent. 

• The constant enmity of the rival religions is strikingly illustrated 
by the Etruscan vases found on the estate of Canino in Italy. Upon 
several of these vases are depicted contending warriors, some of 
whose shields are charged with the device of an eagle, the symbol of 
the children of Surya, while others bear the serpent, the emblem of 
Budh, and these are invariably opposed to each other, the eagle 
being generally if not always victorious. * * The word Draco origi- 
nally meant Avenue of the Sun, afterwards a large Serpent. 

The portals of all the Egyptian temples are decorated with the 
same hierogram of the circle and the serpent. We find it also on 
the temple of Naki-Eustan in Persia, upon the triumphal arch at 
Pekin in China, over the gates of the great temple of Chandi Sewu 
in Java, upon the walls of Athens, and in the Temple of Minerva, at 
Tegea, for the Medusa's head is nothing more than the Ophite 
hierogram with its circle filled up by the human face. The Mexican 
hierogram is formed by the intersection of two great serpents which 
describe the circle vdtii their bodies, and have each a human head in 
its mouth. The Gorgon was sacred to Minerva, but when the ser- 
pents are turoed about with a winged rod, it is the Caduceus of 

There is no figure more conspicuous on Irish sculpture, or more 
frequently met with than that of the Serpent. It is found every 
where sculptured profusely on Crosses, Temple doorways, etc. The 
country abounds also with legends of contests between serpents and 
the heroes or the saints of Ireland. * * Mehadeo is the name of 
a mountain in Cashmere, and there is a fable that every place from 
whence it can be seen is free from snakes ; and yet m that same 
country there are no less than 700 carved figures of snakes which 
are worshipped. Is it not a singular coincidence that in Ireland 
also, where no living serpents exist, such numerous legends of ser- 
pents should abound, and that figures of serpents should be so pro- 
fusely used to ornament Irish sculpture ? There is scarcely a cross, 
or a handsome piece of ancient Irish ornamental work which has not 
got its serpent or dragon. (Keane's Temples and Towers of Ireland^ 
pp. 156-8.) 

Everywhere [in the lately discovered temple of Nakon Wat in 
Cambodia] the Snake God appears. Every angle of every roof is 
adorned vdth an image of the seven-headed snake, and there are 
hundreds of them ; every cornice is composed of snake's heads ; 
every convolution of the roofs, — and there are thousands — ^termi- 
nates in a five or seven-headed snake. The balustrades are snakes, 
and the ridge of every roof was apparently adorned with gilt dra- 
gons.^-Eergusson's History of Architectu/re li. 725. 


in wliich the Beetle was held by the Egyptians.* And 
the respect paid to the cat and the ape by the same 
people is unaccountable, whilst the nobler animals and 
birds, as the horse and the eagle, seem to have been 
slighted by them. The regard paid to the human hand 
as an emblem by the Eomans and Mexicans as previously 
noticed : the adoption by the Janissaries of a camp-kettle 
for their ensign, of a blacksmith's Leather Apron by the 
Persians for their standard, the use of parti-coloured 
Bhields by the aacient Germans, and their retention by 
princely and noble houses at the present day as cherished 
Sisignia-aU these instances are wanting in the chaxac- 
teristic of symbolism, and cannot therefore be supposed 
to have originated from that principle. They must have 
been (indeed some of them certainly were) accidental 
selections, and others of low and obscure origin, which 
afterwards from circumstances became celebrated and 
sacred. It is the same with Names of persons, of offices, 
and places, in their origin mean and obscure, afterwards 
far-famed and illustrious. 

Ignorance of this obscure and accidental origin begets 
attempts to glorify the consecrated symbol, to give it 
fanciful meanings, to ascribe to it solemn significations 
and mysterious virtues. Astrology, Alchemy, Augury, 
the Typology of Scripture, are analogous specimens of 
the phantasies of the human mind, when straying from 
the path of inductive inquiry, and roving in the wil- 
derness of fancy. The imaginary and allegorical mean- 
ings of the colours of Heraldry, f laid down by former 

The worship of the serpent preceded Buddhism in Northern 
Europe as in India ; while in historical times we can trace Tree wor- 
ship without a break from Anaradhapura in Ceylon, to TJpsala in 
Sweden ; and in Northern Europe, JN idhoegg the Abyss worm lay 
soiled at the foot of the tree Yggdrasil. — Captain Burton's Mission 
to the King of Dahomey. 

* The mystic Scarabseus bom out of the mud became the emblem 
of the Sun and its creative agency. It is quite difficult for us to 
understand how it could ever come to be associated with such ideas. 
"We have to throw ourselves back into a stage of human progress, a 
phase of human thought, the most utterly unlike any that comes 
within our experience. — Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. 

t The colours of the shield and of the charges indicated moral 


writers on the subject, are also instances of- this per- 
verted ingenuity. 

The Serpent undoubtedly symbolizes numerous quali- 
ties and peculiarities ; but not the attributes which cha- 
racterize it in the interpretations of the mythologists. As 
we have seen, in their interpretations it is almost always 
typical of night, of darkness, of evil : 

" Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight bom, 
In Stygian cave forlorn, 

*Mongst horrid shapes and shrieks and sights unholy, 
Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings. 
And the night raven sings." 

Its nature however as noticed in Scripture is different : 
it is described as ^^ being more subtle than any beast of 
the field ;" and we read of " the wisdom of the serpent." 
All the solar heroes in Mythology have an antagonist in 
the Serpent or the Dragon : yet its nature is to bask in 
the Sun, and it loves warmth and light. It is obvious 
that originally, as a symbol chosen by a poet, the serpent 
never could have typified the principle of Darkness as 
opposed to Light. The owl or the bat would have been 
far more appropriate. How is it then that this '' beast 
of the field " plays such an important part as a physical 
symbol and a moral type, in every form of Eeligion, in 
every Mythology on the face of the globe ? In accord- 
ance with the theories developed in this work, and the 
facts produced, I would reply simply. That it is owing 
to the Serpent having been adopted as an emblem in 
pre-historic time by some chieftain, whose race became 
famous and their dominion extended ; and which event- 
ually, as the Eagle of the Eomans accompanied their 
victorious legions in all their conquests, so this became 
the sacred standard in some great religious war, where 
the opposite faith fought under a banner with a different 
symbol. It is the Eagle, the emblem of Jupiter, that 
we see in the earliest coins flying away with a serpent 

qualities : gold denoted longevity ; silver, fame ; gules, resolution ; 
azure, wit ; vert, joy ; sable, abstinence, etc. 


in its claws,* — ^the symbol of the subjection in their turn 
of the serpent-worshipping races so frequently typified. 
History records religious wars spread over half the 
globe : the fierce contest between the crescent and the 
cross, between Islamism and Christianity in the 7th and 
8th centuries; the antagonism between the lunar and 
solar races in India and Attica ; the struggle for mastery 
between Buddhism and Brahmanism in Asia, are known 
and recorded cases of strife between contending faiths. 
"Were there none then in pre-historic times ? The Yeda 
was composed at a time when the Aryan race had mul- 
tiplied exceedingly, and a considerable advance had been 
made in civilizatioiL Might it not have been written to 
celebrate the triumph of a great religious party ?t What 
meaning in the nature of things has much of its ima- 
gery ? The Serpent as a type of darkness ; the Harits 
or Horses as drawing the chariot of the Sun ; Cows going 
out to pasture as signifying the fleecy clouds dispersed 
by the rising sun ? These are not natural and appropri- 
ate images. The fleecy clouds would be better compared 
with sheep ; and the sun's chariot as drawn by eagles^ 
Is there no allusion here to the Horse which was sacri- 
ficed to the Sun ; to the Cow J or the Bull which was a 
sacred animal in the East ? 

* This is said to be " a remarkable and uncommon specimen of 
the coinage of Elis. It belongs to an archaic period, probably as 
early at least as the commencement of the Peloponnesian war." — 
Numismatic Chronicle, N. S. i. 107. 

t It is highly probable that the popular epics of India were the 
composition of some of the dommant priesthood, in which their 
vanquished opponents were sung as Rakshas or Demons ; and though 
these names may have at one time borne a different meaning to that 
affixed to it by the priestly poet, the flexible nature of his language 
enabled him thus to affix a stigma upon the vanquished party, in the 
same manner that the Q-reeks found no difficulty in finding an ety- 
mology to suit any favourite theory or legend. When prominent 
epic names therefore reappear in Greece, thev may in fact have 
haid originally a meaning different from that which we now obtain 
through such writings ; for considered as a matter of even pure 
mythology, nothing can exceed the strong party feeling everywhere 
apparent. — Pococke's Early History of Greece, p. 34. 

X In the cattle of Helios and their extraordinary sacredness, Mr; 


Again, as symbolical animals, or as suitable poetical 
images, what have the wolf and the bear to do with the 
Sun ? Mr. Max Miiller says Biksha in Sanskrit means 
a Star and a Bear : and remarks, " We don't see why of 
all other animals the Bear should have been called the 
Bright Animal." No, of course not, from inherent qual- 
ities : but if we believe that the emblem of every tribe 
or race was associated with the worship of the Sun, and 
hence became sacred, we can easily see why the bear, the 
wolf, or any other animal or object, should have been 
figuratively called Bright or Shining. Mr. Cox (Manual, 
p. 121) has a different explanation : 

" Callisto (the fairest) is a daughter of Areas the bright one ; but 
the root from which Areas comes is the same as the root of the 
word Arctos, a bear ; and hence the story went that Callisto rousing 
the anger of Artemis was turned into a Bear. The Constellation 
now known as Arctus and A returns received its name from the root 
which meant to shine ; but for the same reason which changed Cal- 
listo into a bear, the notion rose that these stars also were inhabited 
by bears, and thus caioe the names of the Q-reat and Little Bear. 
The root ark in Hindoo entered into the word Bishi, which means a 
wise man, and hence the seven arhshas or shiners, were changed into 
the abode of the seven Risliis or Sages. So again the word Star 
means a strewer of Light, and is the same as the Hindu word tdrd ; 
but this word was confused with another like it, which meant a 
wagon, ox, and hence the constellation came to be also called 
Charles's wain or wagon." 

Gladstone sees the vestiges of a system of brute worship identical 
with that of Egypt. — {Homer and the Homeric Age, ii. 412.) 

The Phoenicians employed the symbol of a Cow for Venus, whence 
the CadmsBans are said to have been conducted to the place of their 
settlement in Boeotia, by a Cow which pointed out the spot for build- 
ing the Cadmeion or Citadel of Thebes, by lying down to rest upon 
it. This cow was probably no other than the symbolical image of 
their deity which was borne before them till fixed in the place 
chosen for their residence to which it gave the name of Thebes, 
which in the Syrian language signifies a Cow. * * * The Cow 
is still revered as a sacred symbol of the deity by the inhabitants of 
the Gk)ld Coast of Africa, and more particularly hy the Hindoos^ 
among whom there is scarcely a temple vdthout the image of one. 
* * It is also frequently found upon ancient Greek coins, though 
we do not find that any public worship was ever paid to it by that 
people : but it appears to have been held sacred by all the African 
tribes adjoining Egypt as far as the Tritonian Lake. (Payne Ejiight's 
Liquiry, etc. p. 40.) 



The object of Comparative Mythologists is to divest 
their tales of absurdity, and to find a rational explana- 
tion of their growth. When however they retain as 
sensible the belief that stars were ever inhabited by 
bears, they stop short in their work, and refrain from 
applying their principles. It was perfectly natural to 
believe superior beings, or the souls of deified heroes 
inhabited the celestial bodies: but that belief could 
hardly have been extended to the brute creation. Ya- 
rious animals and birds are made to attend the celestial 
deities, but not to reign and exist independently. The 
horses yoked to the car of Helios, and the comparison of 
the fleecy clouds to Cows, are as absurd and unpoetical 
as any figure of speech which called the Stars by the 
names of animals. The twelve labours of Hercules, 
like the twelve signs of the Zodiac, signify the twelve 
montKs of the year. A selection of incidents and em- 
blems was necessary to make up and limit the number to 
twelve. Neither one nor the other have any proper re- 
ference to the seasons, or to astronomy. What especial 
reference has the Eam to March, the Bull to April, and 
the Lion to July ? Their places interchanged would be 
just as appropriate. The emblems in both instances were 
probably identified with well-known and long-celebrated 
events : in the course of time these latter becoming nu- 
merous, like the increasing number of saints in the 
middle ages, a selection was necessarily made ; the num- 
ber was fixed at twelve, and long established usage at 
length obscuring their original purpose and meaning, 
new interpretations were made, a new symbolism was 
promulgated, and hence arose the mythical labours of 
Hercules, and the mysterious signs of the Zodiac. 

The incarnations of Yishnu belong to the same cate- 
gory. He is said in the Hindoo Mythology to have as- 
sumed the shape of a lion, a dragon, an ape, a boar, etc. 
These miraculous transformations could not have sud- 
denly become the belief of the Hindoos. Successive me- 
tamorphoses, from a literal to a figurative meaning, and 
back again from a figurative to a Uteral meaning of an- 
other Hnd, are the modes in which arise a belief in the 


absurd and miraculous, without wilful deception on the 
one side, or blind credulity on the other. Long prescrip- 
tion, and authoritative sanction consecrate the absurdest 
tales in the minds of those even who would judge of an 
alleged contemporary miracle by the rules of reason and 
common sense. 

What was the rational origin then of these Incarna- 
tions of Yishnu ? Doubtless this : various peoples wor- 
shipped the Sun in the similitude of their national 
standard or emblem : these peoples became incorporated 
into one kingdom : in time one solar deity being wor- 
shipped under different symbols required explanation: 
popular knowledge on the subject affording none, an ex- 
planation of a marvellous character was offered, and 
readily accepted. In some cases this imion of the sym- 
bols of one worship produced monsters, who in course of 
time were looked on as representations of realities. In 
others we have a trinity formed : and we have Brahma 
riding on a Lion or a Goose, Indra or Siva on a Bull and 
an Elephant, and Yishnu on an Eagle. When therefore 
in mythology we find Zeus in the form of a Bull carry- 
ing off Europa, it is unsatisfactory to be told " This 
means that the strong rising sun carries off the wide- 
shining dawn." 

But to demonstrate this, and to show that some other 
meaning is involved in this legend and others of a simi- 
lar character, it will be necessary to exemplify the figu- 
rative language of the ancients, and to consider the 
symbolism supposed to be intended by figures and re- 
presentations, found in poets and other writers, and ex- 
hibited in remains of ancient art. 

It was the constant custom amongst the ancients in 
Oracular Eesponses to use enigmatical and allegorical lan- 
guage. Thus Adrastus was commanded to give his two 
daughters in marriage to a Lion and a Boar, meaning to 
two princes who bore those emblems. The person who 
killed Lysander bore a dragon on his shield ; wherefore 
the oracle had told him to beware of a dragon. Diocle- 
tian in the camp at Liege was told he was to become 
emperor, when he had slain a boar. He rested not till 



he had succeeded in doing away with his rival Arrius 
Jper. In the Bible countries are often mentioned me- 
taphorically, as when Daniel signifies Greece and Persia 
by their respective emblems, the goat and the ram.* 

This figurative language was especially used in refer- 
ence to the serpent and the dragon. A country infested 
with serpents often meant devoted to the serpent wor- 
ship. When St. Patrick is said to have extirpated the 
serpents of Ireland nothing more is meant than that he 
supplanted the idolatrous adoration of the Sun and the 
Serpent by Christianity. 

Most of the legends of the Saints who evangelized 
Brittany describe them as either having destroyed a 
great dragon, or a colony of serpents, which had infested 
the country before their arrival. St. Cado, St. Maudet, 
and a St. Paul, are all entitled to this honour. St. Cado 
was the victor over the serpents of Camac."f All these 

* These sjmbolical expressions have been continued in more mo- 
dem times, and down to the present day. "We speak of the "Wars of 
the Eoses in the 15th century, and of the lions of England, dhd the 
lilies or eagles of France. The history of Poland mentions the 
contests of the roses and griffins in the 12th century, i, e. of the 
parties who bore those ensigns. Godefroy de Paris, in relating the 
circumstances of a war between the French and Flemings, indicates 
the latter nation by the term Black Lion, and the former by the 
Fleurs de Lis. Dante in the Divina Commedia constantly describes 
persons by their armorial bearings. In Qtientin Durward, Sir Wal- 
ter Scott, who mentions "William de la Marck as bearing a boar 
on his escutcheon, gives him the sobriquet of the "Wild Boar of 

TJrien llheged was a British Chief who lived at the beginning of 
the 6th century. He is said to have borne a raven on his shield and 
his descendant Lord Dynevor bears 3 ravens for his arms. The 
ravens (i. e. his followers) of Owain son of TJrien are alluded to by 
Bleddyn Vardd, a bard of the 13th century, and also by a bard of 
the 12th century. 

Favine an old writer on Heraldry remarks that the French His- 
torians speak of Philip Augustus " conquering the dragon " when 
he overcame Otho IV. who bore a dragon as the standard of his 

On a Dutch coin struck by William of Orange we see the lion of 
Satavia conquering the Spanish boar, evidently meaning the Duke 
of Alba,A.D. 1578. 

t One of the titles of the Hindoo Apollo is Cama the Eadiant : 
the word Carnival is connected with it. 



legends alluded to the destruction of some Dracontinm, 
which was the Great Dragon, and the conversion or sup- 
pression of the priesthood of Bel who were the Serpents. 
Hence the numerous churches and chapels dedicated to 
St. Michael, the divine destroyer of the spiritual serpent, 
and hence the appropriation of the most sacred hills of 
the Ophite Deity to the Christian archangel. Enormous 
dragons, covering many acres of territory, are mentioned 
by Iphicrates, Strabo, Maximus Tyrius and Posidonius, 
which says Bryant, could have been only ruins of Ophite 

The germ of the legend of the Argonauts and the 
Golden Fleecef has been considered to be found in the 
fable of the Arimaspi and Griffins. The former, as He- 
rodotus was told, were a Scythian people who waged a 
continual war with the Griffins who collected the gold of 
the country. These are imagined to have been the sym- 
bols of two contending parties. The Griffin was espe- 
cially a fabulous animal of the Persians. J 

Mi. Jacob Bryant in his learned work on Mythology 
has the following instances in whicK metaphorical lan- 
guage conceals and yet explains facts : — 

Cycnus, the brother of Phaeton, is said to have been changed to 
a Swan. In respect to Cycnus and his brotherhood, those vocal 
ministers of Apollo, the story which is told of them undoubtedly 
alludes to Canaan, the son of Ham, and to the Canaanites his pos- 
terity. They sent out many colonies, which colonies there is great 
reason to thmk settled in those places where these legends about 
swans particularly prevailed. The chief deity of the Canaanites 

* Observations on Dracontia by Eev. J. B. Deane in Archceologia 
vol. 25. 

t The Egyptians represented the Sun in a boat instead of a cha- 
riot, from which boat being carried in procession on men's shoulders 
as it' often appears in their sculptures, and being ornamented with 
the symbols of Ammon taken from the ram, probably arose the fable 
of the Argonautic expedition, of which there is not a trace in the 
genuine parts of either of the Homeric poems. The Colchians in- 
deed were supposed to be a colony of Egyptians, and it is possible 
that there might be so much truth in the story as that a party of 
Q^reek pirates carried off a golden figure of the symbol* of their 
GFod. — ^rayne Ejiight, Inquiry, etc. p. 181. 

X Pococke's Early History of Greece, p. 108. 


was typified by a swan. As in eai^ly times, colonies went by the 
names of the Deities whom they worshipped, or by the name of the 
ensign or hieroglyphic under which their country was denoted, every 
depredation made by such people was placed to the account of the 
deity under such a device. Hence instead of saying that the Egyp- 
tians or Canaanites or Tyrians landed and carried off such and such 
persons, they said it was done by Jupiter in the shape of an eagle, a 
swan, or a bull. Plutarch says Apollo was pleased with the music 
of swans. Socrates terms swans his fellow-servants, in doing which 
he alluded to the ancient priests styled Cycni. Porphyry assures 
us Socrates was very serious when he mentioned swans as his fellow- 
servants. When therefore Aristophanes speaks of the Delian and 
Pythian swans, they are the priests of those places to whom he al- 
ludes. Lycophron who was of Egypt and skilled in ancient terms, 
styles Calchas who was the priest of Apollo a swan. Hence at the 
first institution of the rites of Apollo, which is termed the birth of 
the deity at Delos, it is said that many swans came from the coast of 
Asia, and went round the island for the space of seven days. The 
whole of this relates to a choir of priests who came over to settle 
at Delos and to serve in the newly erected temple. The dirges sung 
by these priests gave rise to the fable of the swan singing at his 
death. (Bryant*s Ancient Mythology^ ii. 67-78.) 

Apollonius mentions a particular breed of serpents on the Eu- 
phrates which Were harmless to the natives, but fatal to every one 
else. This I think cannot be understood literally. These serpents 
Were of the same natu!te as the birds of Diomedes, and the dogs in 
the temple of Vulcan, and these histories relate to Ophite priests, 
who used to spare their own people and sacrifice strangers, a custom 
which prevailed at one time in most parts of the world. (Ibid, ii. 

The story of the Harpies relates to the priests of the Sun. They 
were denominated from their seat of residence, which was an oracu- 
lar temple, called Harpi and Hirpi, analogous to Orphi and TJrphi 
in other places. The ancient name of a priest was Cahen. Hence 
the Harpies who were the priests of TJr are styled by Apollonius 
the Dogs of Jove. This term in the common acceptation is not 
applicable to the Harpies, either as birds, for so they are represented, 
or as winged animals. But this representation was only the insig- 
nia of the people as the vulture and the eagle, were of the Egyptians, 
and a lion of the Persians. The Harpies were certainly a college of 
priests in Bithynia, and on that account called Cahen. They seem 
to have been a set of rapacious persons who for their repeated acts of 
violence and cruelty were driven out of the country. (Ibid, p. 307.) 

After these and similar illustrations of the actual use 
of metaphorical language, where the meaning is obvious 
and does not require further explanation, I would ask 
whether the same interpretation is not applicable to many- 
mythological legends that it is thought are only to be 


understood by a reference to the Sun and the dawn. As 
before remarked, this latter explanation, even where 
feasible, excludes all embodiment in these tales of real 
events. It is quite improbable that the narratives of 
deeds of great importance should have been so entirely- 
supplanted by pure fictions and abstractions. Even the 
Iliad must have commemorated some real event, for the 
love of hearing the recital of actual heroic deeds could 
not have been satisfied with a poem that did not respond 
to this want. 

We may therefore justly suspect some historical basis 
in many of the tales wherein animals and birds so pro- 
minently figure. When we read that Jupiter in the 
shape of a crow ruined his sister Juno ; that he corrupted 
Leda the wife of Tyndarus King of Laconia in the simi- 
litude of a swan ; — that he transported Ganymede in the 
form of an eagle, and offered violence to Astoria, the 
daughter of Coeus, in the same shape, and in the likeness 
of a white bull stole away Europa, the daughter of 
Agenor King of Phoenicia, — analogy will justify the be- 
lief that persons and not things are here indicated. And 
so when we read that Eomulus was suckled by a wolf, 
Paris and Atalanta by a bear ; that bees fed Jupiter with 
honey, that a goat gave him milk, and that he was nou- 
rished accordmg to different writers by doves, by an 
eagle, and by a bear, this use of metaphorical language 
may fairly bear the construction that all these persons, 
or those they represent, were brought up and educated 
by princes or chieftains whose ensign was the particular 
animal in question. 

This application of Heraldry may indeed be tenta- 
tively made to the whole circle of mythology, in those 
parts where there is mention made of symbolical animals 
or birds. Thus the contests of Heracles with the Ne- 
mean lion, the Eurymanthean boar, and the Hydra, may 
mean something more than solar myths. The crow, the 
hawk, the wolf, the swan, and the cock, sacred to Apollo, 
are probably the emblems of different nations by which 
he was worshipped. Griffins are said also to be monsters 
peculiar to his service. In Homer, Apollo is termed Smin- 


thens, from having freed a colony of Cretans from a 
plague of mice which in the old Cretan language arc 
called Stninthoi. On an ancient gem is found a lion and 
a mouse ; and a mouse is also depicted on a helmet.* A 
mouse is found too on the coins of Argos.f Bacchus has 
been supposed to be identical with Nimrod, which name 
in Chaldee means a tiger. The chariot of Bacchus is 
drawn by tigers. Here heraldry and history seem to 
pervade mythology. The chariot of Juno was drawn by 
peacocks. The peacock was the favourite armorial em- 
blem of the Eajpoot warriors ; it is the bird sacred to 
their Mars (Kamara) as it was to Juno his mother in the 
west (vide p. 8). 

The fabulous monsters of antiquity have to be ac- 
counted for in any attempt to explain Mythology. The 
question is whether they are creations of the poet or 
otherwise. "We have seen that fabulous, absurd, and 
miraculous actions^ can be resolved into simple and na- 
tural elements, and the same process might be expected 
to result in the successful analysis of the origin of the 
conception of unreal animals. As gleaned from writers 
on the subject it is the general opinion that these mon- 
sters were invented to typify a combination of qualities. 
Undoubtedly, some exaggerated forms were expressly 
invented in order to be typical, as the many-handed 
India deities, the Hydra, Briareus, and the many-breasted 
Diana of the Ephesians.J But the greater part were 

* Smith's Diet, of Mythology. 

t Payne Knight, p. 100. 

X The Hindoos, and other nations of the eastern parts of Asia, 
expressed combinations of attributes by symbols loosely connected, 
and figures unskilfully composed of many heads, legs, arms, etc., 
which appear from the epithets hundred-headed, hundred-handed, 
etc., so frequent in the old Q-reek poets, to have been not whoUy 
unknown to them, though the objects to which they applied prove 
that their ideas were taken from figures which they did not under- 
stand, and which they therefore exaggerated into fabulous monsters, 
the enemies or arbitrators of their own Q-ods. Such symbolical 
figures may perhaps have been worshipped in the western parts of 
Asia, when the Q-reeks first settled there, of which the Diana of 
Ephesus appears to have been a remain, for both her temple and 
that of the Apollo Didynseus were long anterior to the Ionic migra- 
tion. — Payne Knight's Inquiry, etc., p. 157. 


formed naturally, and from convenience, without any- 
original intention of denoting any moral or religious 
ideas ; for these were fanciful refinements of subsequent 
ages. Two remarkable instances in English Heraldry 
will well illustrate the manner of their growth. The 
Union Jack is a combination of the crosses of St. George, 
St. Andrew, and St. Patrick, in one flag. This was a 
natural and convenient arrangement, to combine the em- 
blems of three kingdoms. It does not, it is true, result 
in any absurd combination, because its elements do not 
happen to be susceptible of it. But there is a seal of 
Edmund Earl of Lancaster, son of Henry the third, which 
is more in point.* This, instead of exhibiting the three 
lions of England separately, unites their bodies together 
with one head. This of course was simply an heraldic 
fancy ; but in ancient times it would have been some- 
thing more ; and if perpetuated, have seemed a monster 
that, its origin being forgotten from lapse of time, would 
have been eventually believed in as a reality, and en- 
dowed with emblematical qualities accordingly. 

The Chimeera of Mythology was composed of the body 
of a lion, his tail ending with a serpent's head, and a 
goat's head issuing from his back. As Homer says — 

" A lion she before in mane and throat, 
Behind a dragon, in the midst a goart.** 

This would be only a natural combination to signify the 
union of three kingdoms whose ensigns were respec- 
tively a lion, a goat, and a serpent. Bellerophon slays 
this Chimsera, mounted on his winged horse Pegasus.f 

* This is figured in Baines' History of Lancashire (i. 242). The 
heraldic puzzle a leopard's face jessamt de lis, which has given rise to 
so many conjectural explanations, is nothing more than the combi- 
nation in one figure of the separate charges of a leopard's head and 
a fleur de lis. 

t Lycia in Asia Minor is the scene of this exploit. In Sir C. 
Fellowes' Travels in Asia Minor and Lycia the following remarks 
occur (p. 347) : " The bull's horns are found as the crest (?) of the 
ancient inhabitants, and the bull contending with lions is the most 
common subject of bas-reliefs. * * The lion is seen everywhere 


May not this have typified the conquest of a threefold 
kingdom, by a nation whose emblem was a horse, or 
perhaps to account for the wings, whose united ensigns 
were the horse and eagle ? But this story is regarded 
as a pure solar myth, notwithstanding the victim in the 
contest is not the simple serpent of night over which the 
Sun is always victorious. 

Mr. Payne Knight in his learned work before quoted* 
— 'd storehouse of facts illustrating the Heraldry of My- 
thology — ^remarks (p. 113) "on the celebrated ark or 
box of Cypsolus, Diana was represented winged, and 
holding a lion in one hand and a leopard in the other ; 
and in an ancient temple near the mouth of the Alpheus, 
she was represented riding upon a gryphon, an emblema- 
tical monster, composed of the united forms of the lion 
and. eagle, tie symbols of destruction and dominion^ 
These words in italics afford a specimen of the interpre- 
tation Mr. Knight throughout his work puts on the 
symbols found on coins and temples. He attributes to 
them a moral import — ^never an heraldic one. But in 
one place (p. 49) he observes that the knowledge of the 
ancient hieroglyphics, and consequently of the symboli- 
cal meaning of the sacred animals, perished with their 
hierarchy under the Persian and Macedonian Kings. 
And it is to be inferred from this, that in ignorance of 
their historical or heraldic origin and meaning, these 
symbols received one that was fanciful and allegorical. 
There were of course emblems devised that never were 
any thing but morally typical. One of these, a well 
known one, Mr. Knight mentions (p. 1 36) where the ce- 
lestial soul was represented by a butterfly, and he adds 

throughout the valley of the Xauthus ; every bas-relief, tomb, 
seal (?) or coin shows the figure or limbs of this animal. Lions still 
live in its mountains, the goat is found at the top, while the serpent 
infests the base of the Erasus, illustrating the imaginary monster of 
its early fables." But these geographical peculiarities have nothing 
to do, except in the very earliest times, with the use of emblems. 
The author does not say if the figure of the chimsBra is to be found 
in the country. 

* Inquiry into the Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and My- 
thology ; 1818. 


^^ there is no trace of this on coins though it constantly 
occurs on gems." 

But I proceed to give instances where these symboli- 
cal figures evidently mean conquest^ and the animal re- 
presented typifies the country conquered. 

A goat with one horn was the old symbol of Macedon.* 
B.C. 647, the Macedonians became tributary to the Per- 
sians. On one of the pilasters of a temple at Persepolis, a 
Goat is represented with an immense horn, and a man 
with a Persian dress is seen by his side, holding the 
horn with his left hand. To " take a bull by the horns '' 
is an equivalent phrase for to conquer. There occurs on 
the reverse of a coin of Archelaus, King of Macedon, 
the head of a goat bearing only one horn. Persia was 
represented by a ram. Ammianus Marcellanus acquaints 
us that the King of Persia, when at the head of his 
army, wore a ram's head made of gold instead of a dia- 
dem.f In the 8th chapter of Daniel we have a remark- 
able instance of the metaphorical way of speaking of 
kings and nations. These emblems of Persia and Mace- 
don are there expressly mentioned. 

At Persepolis there is the figure of the king killing a 
monster having lion's paws, a neck scaly as of a dragon, 
with a scorpion's tail, and a horn issuing from his head 
which the King lays hold of with his left hand, and 
with his right plunges a dagger into his body. This 
could not clearly be intended to represent an incident of 
the chase. Persian gems abound with monstrous forms. 

* Bishop Newton observes that 200 years before the time of 
Daniel, the Macedonians were called -^geadsB, the goat's people, 
the origin of which name is said to be as follows : — Caranus, their 
first King going with a multitude of Greeks, to seek a new habita- 
tion in Macedonia, was advised by an oracle, to take the goats for 
his guides, and afterwards seeing a herd of goats flying from a vio- 
lent storm, he followed them to Edessa, and there fixed the seat of 
his empire, and made the goats his ensigns or standards, and called 
the place Mg<& or jEgea, the goat's town, and the people -^geadae, 
the goat's people, so name from Aiqos a goat. The city -^ge or 
-^gea, was the usual burying place of the Macedonian kings, and in 
reference to this origin, Alexander called his son by Eoxana, 
Alexander ^gus, Alexander the Goat. 

t " Medals of Macedonia " in Archaologia, vol. 14. 


The King is exhibited in conflict with a vast variety of 
monsters, for instance winged lions with two tails, and 
with the horns of a ram or antelope. Sphinxes and 
GriflBns of different shapes appear on Persian gems and 
cylinders. On some bas-reliefs at Persepolis the TTing is 
represented killing a lion or a bull ; on others a lion is 
devouring a bull : and griffin's heads and bull's heads 
are found carved on the capitals of the Temples.* 

Mr. Layard in his first work on Nineveh remarks (ii. 
441) :— 

" There is still at Persepolis sufficient to prove that the religious 
symbols of the Persians were adopted from the Assyrians. * * Ac- 
cording to the best authorities Zoroaster was a Chaldean, who intro- 
duced his doctrines into Persia and Central Asia. When Persia 
was a mere province, and long before the name is found among the 
civilized nations of antiquity, the religious system of the Assyrians 
was not only perfected, out was falling into decay. The Assyrian 
empire had ceased to exist before its myths and symbols were trans- 
ferred with its arts to the walls of PersepoHs." 

And further, Mr. Layard states that "the eagle-headed 
human figure is generally seen contending with other 
mythical animals, such as the human-headed Uon or 
bull ; and in these contests it appears to be always the 
conqueror;" but he holds the same view as Payne 
Knight, of the typical character of these representations, 
and suggests that they " may denote the superiority of 
the intellect over mere physical strength.''^ If how- 
ever we find a composite symbol, whose meaning is 
clearly historical or heraldic, other cotemporary symbols 
of the same class may fairly receive the same interpreta- 
tion. " In the Florentine Collection there is a gem (en- 
graved in Plate 42 of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible) 
which represents a ram's head and goat's head with one 
horn, cortjoified^ representing Persia and Macedon, which 
would be explained on the supposition of the gem hav- 
ing been engraved after the conquest of Persia by Alex- 

* Rawlinson's Five Ancient Monarchies, vol. iv. 

t Mr. Layard mentions that Nisr in all Semitic languages means 
Eagle, and is the etymon of Nisroch the name of an Assyrian Q-od. 
^'isroch was probably a deified king whose emblem was an eagle. 


ander the Great.'' In face of an obvious meaning, it is 
in vain here to seek an allegorical one. This is an in- 
stance quite parallel to impalement in Heraldry. 

Mr. Layard in his work Discoveries in Nineveh and 
Babylon^ (p. 154) mentioning the discovery in the pa- 
lace of Kouyunjik of impressions of seals on clay, re- 
marks — 

The Assyrian devices are of various kinds ; the most common is 
that of a Mng plunging a dagger into the body of a rampant Hon.* 
This appears to have been the royal and indeed the national seal or 
signet. The same group emblematic of the superior power and wis- 
dom of the King, as well as of his sacred character, is found on As- 
syrian cylinders, gems, and monuments. From the Assyrians it was 
adopted by the Persians, and appears upon the walls of Persepolis 
and on the coins of Darius. 

And at p. 595, is given an engraving of " a figure in 
relief on a circular vessel of the Assyrian Hercules strug- 
gling with a lion.^^ At p. 605, is represented " the Assy- 
rian Hercules contending with a Buffalo, and a horned 
human figure, with the extremities of a bull fighting 
with a lion," engraved on cyliuders. And we are told 
(p. 608) " gems and precious stones of the Arsacian and 
Sassanian dynasties of Persia, engraved with subjects 
and mythical figures, precisely similar to those on Assy- 
rian and Babylonian relics, are by no means imcommon." 

These and such like figures then have a mythological 
meaning, and as like the subjects represented equally on 

* In the Herald and Genealogist for October, 1867, in a Paper on 
" The Use of Antique Q-ems as MedisBval Seals " I have shown how 
this device was used by Sir Hugh Nevill, who went to the Holy- 
Land in 1190, which gave rise to a story of his having thrust his 
sword into the body of a lion, and subsequently to the use of a lion 
rampant by his family for an armorial bearing. 

Mr. Stuart in his work on the Sculptured Stones of Scotland states 
that " lions occur at St. Andrews and Drainie. In both cases a 
man in a plaided dress is forcing open their jaws, and these" he 
adds " may represent David slaying tne lion." The juxtaposition of 
the man and lion is variously represented in Persian and Assyrian 
sculptures, sometimes holding the animal by the paw, — in all cases 
evidently intending to convey the idea of subjection. Mr. Keane 
in his work on the Towers of Ireland gives engravings of ancient 
sculptures where a man puts his hand in the jaws of a wolf. 


the vases of Etruria and Greece, are found in different 
countries, may be supposed to have had a remote anti- 
quity in some common source. The question as affecting 
our argument, is whether their meaning is allegorical, 
according to Payne Knight and others, or as I have en- 
deavoured to show, heraldic and symbolical of and repre- 
senting historical events.* In some preceding instances 
they are unquestionably of the latter character. The 
whole history of painting and sculpture from the earliest 
times reveals the object and purpose of conveying in- 
formation, and celebrating events by pictorial display. 
"What the frescoes on the walls of mediaeval churches 
were to the unlettered multitude, these Assyrian and 
other designs were to the same ignorant masses, in the 
remote ages when Nineveh was in its glory, and the Py- 
ramids were even ancient structures. Incidents in the 
lives of Saints, real or miraculous, and events recorded in 
Scripture history, were the subjects treated by Christian 
art. No mystical allegories, no esoteric symbolism, were 
there pourfarayed. Nor, may we rest assured, were the 
earliest paintings on the walls of Temples or Palaces any 
but of matter of fact and historical subjects, such as 
decorate the walls of our Houses of Parliament. It is 
conceivable that for the sake of condensed expression, 
and multifarious and fr.equent use, an event, as a battle, 

* The bull, the wild goat, and the griffin are the animals, evidently 
of a sacred character, which occur so frequently in the sculptures of 
Nimroud. The lion or leopard devouring the bull and gazelle, is a 
well known symbol of Assyrian origin, afterwards adopted by other 
Eastern nations, and may typify, according to the fancy of the reader, 
either the subjection of a primitive race by the Assyrian tribes, or 
an astronomical phenomenon. — Layar(rs Discoveries in Nineveh and 
Babylon (p. 184.) 

Sometimes the lion is represented as killing some other symbolical 
animal, as the bull, the horse, or the deer ; and these compositions 
not only ocpur upon the coins and other sacred monuments of the 
G-reeks and Phcenicians, but upon those of the Persians and the 
Tartar tribes of Upper Asia, in all which they express different mo- 
difications of the ancient mystic dogma concerning the adverse ef- 
fects of the two great attributes of creation and destruction. * * 
On some of the ancient Greek coins of Acanthus in Macedonia 
we find a lion killing a boar. — Payne Knight, Enquiry, etc. pp. 83 
and 94. 


would take the simple and concentrated form of the 
figures we have been considering ; and they would have 
an analogous force and meaning to the arms used by Ed- 
ward the third, when he quartered the lilies of France 
with the lions of England. In the lapse of ages the 
original meaning of these figures was forgotten, and new 
ones chiefly allegorical were devised to explain them. 

The combination of the human with animal forms in 
these mythological figures is remarkable. It would ap- 
pear to have resulted from the practice of the deification 
of great men ;* or perhaps was introduced at the period 
when the monsters of mythology had, after long serving 
an heraldic, or simply an emblematical purpose, become 
objects of adoration ; and by way of homage to a more 
enlightened worship, the human face divine was substi- 
tuted as a more dignified frontispiece in an animal figure 
that was an object of idolatry. -f- 

Payne Knight says (p. 123.) 

" A fish was the universal symbol on many of the earliest coins, 
and almost every symbol of the male or active power both of gene- 
ration and destruction, being occasionally placea upon it. Direeto 
the goddess of the PheniciaDs was represented by the head and body 
of a woman, terminating below in a fish." 

Here we have the fabulous Mermaid: the Merman was 
the Babylonian Dagon or Fishgod. J An instructive note 

* The devices on coins were always held so strictly sacred that 
the most powerful monarchs never ventured to put their portraits 
upon them until the practice of deifying sovereigns had enrolled 
them amongst the gods. — Payne Knight, Inquiry, etc. p. 8. 

t As men improved in the practice of the imitative arts they 
gradually changed the animal for the human form, preserving still 
the characteristic features which marked its symbolical meaning. 
* * Thus we find on an ancient Egyptian temple, the horns and 
ears of the Cow bound to the beautiful features of a woman in the 
prime of life. — Ibid, p. 40. 

X The following is from Mr. Layard's work on " Nineveh and 
Babylon '' (p. 343.) :— 

At Kouyunjik were found two colossal bas-reliefs of Dagon or 
the Fish d-od. * * It combined the human shape with that of 
the fish. * * The figure wore a fringed tunic, and bore the two 
sacred emblems, the basket and the cone. 

We can scarcely hesitate to identify this mythic form with the 


on tlie latter is subjoined ; but we do not learn how the 
element common to both should have been incorporated 
in two deities of the opposite sex. 

We find a couchant Uon on a medal with a blazing 
sun above his head (which was the ancient ensign of the 
Tartars) ; on another we find a naked man astride the 
lion, so that the sun from the crowded space appears im- 
mediately above the man's head. This accidental cir- 
cumstance was probably the origin of the Nimbua^ which 
though considered an attribute of Christian and Jewish 
symbolism was in use among the Heathens, but was early 
adopted by the Christians, though it did not become 
general till the 5th century.* 

Oannes or sacred man-fish, who according to the traditions preserved 
by Berosus, issued from the ErythrsBan Sea, instructed the Chaldeans 
in all wisdom, in the sciences, and in the fine arts, and was after- 
wards worshipped as a god in the temples of Babylonia. Its body, 
says the historian, was that of a fish, hut under the head of a fish was 
that of a man, and to its tail were joined women's feet. Five such 
monsters rose from the Persian Guif at fabulous intervals of time. 
It has been conjectured that this myth denotes the conquest of 
Chaldea at some remote and pre-historic period, by a comparatively 
civilized nation coming in ships to the mouth of the Euphrates. I 
had already identified with the Babylonian idol a figure in a bas- 
relief at Knorsabad, having the human form to the waist and the 
extremities of a fish. Such figures are also frequently found on 
antique cylinders and gems, but those at Kouyunjik agreed even 
more minutely with the description of Berosus, for the human head 
was actually beneath that of the fish, whilst the human feet were 
added to the spreading tail. 

The Dagon of the Philistines and of the inhabitants of the Phoeni- 
cian coast, was worshipped according to the united opinion of the 
Hebrew commentators on the Bible, under the same fonn. * * 
His worship appears to have extended over Syria as well as Mesopo- 
tamia and ChaldsBa. He had many temples as we learn from the 
Bible, in the country of the Philistines, and it was probably under 
the ruins of one of them that Samson buried the people of Ghaza, 
who had " gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto 
Dagon their God, and to rejoice." We also find a Beth-Dagon or 
the house of Dagon, amongst the uttermost cities of the children of 
Judah, and another city of the same name in the inheritance of the 
children of Asher. 

* The following observations on the Nimbus are from the Journal 
of the ArchiBological Association (i. 121) : — There seems to be no 
doubt that this method of representing excellence of power is de- 
rived from classical antiquity. M. Didron has cited instances where 


Another apparent instance of the accidental or perhaps 
necessary position of an emblem in a mythological com- 
position is given by Payne Knight (p. 39) to account 

the deities, as well as personifications of moral yirtaes, and even the 
Emperors, are distinguished by the head being encircled with the 
Nimbus. He is of opinion that it originated among the fire wor- 
shippers of the East, and that in reality it represents fire or flame, 
emblematical of the divine power and intelligence, emanating from 
the head. In Persia and other Eastern countries at the present 
day, the heads of sacred persons are surmounted or surrounded by a 
mass of flame rising up into the air like a pyramid. * * In the 
earliest Christian monuments, the Nimbus is not found even when 
the Deity is represented. The sarcophagi and frescoes in the Ca- 
tacombs of Eome represent the Father and the Son, either with no 
Nimbus, or with the plain Nimbus which at a later period was the 
attribute of saints and angels. Even as late as the 12th century, 
we sometimes find the divine person represented with the plain Nim- 
bus. * * The Nimbus as the emblem of power or excellence is not 
confined to the divine persons or to the saints. The personages of 
the Old Testament are sometimes distinguished in the same manner. 
In some of the earlypaintings in churches in France, the prophets, 
some of the Jewish Kings, Abel, Melchisedec, Jacob, etc. are repre- 
sented with the same attribute. * * Allegorical figures also, such 
as the cardinal virtues, the wind, the elements, day and night, etc. 
are not unfrequently accompanied with the Nimbus in Christian 
monuments. In the East the Nimbus was used still more widely 
than in the west ; it was there often applied to mark power, whether 
good or evil. 

There are representations in the Hindoo temples of a fish swal- 
lowing a man, which perhaps had the same parentage as the various 
forms of the Babylonian and Assyrian Dagon or Fish- God, and the 
Cannes or sacred man-fish traditionally venerated by the Chaldeans. 
"Whether the history of Jonah devoured by the whale is the origin 
of these mythical devices there are no means of determining. 

The JPictorial Bible commenting on the passage in Daniel (vi. 16) 
which gives the account of the prophet being thrown into the lions' 
den has these remarks : " This is a new punishment, not previously 
mentioned in Scripture, and it first occurs at Babylon, but no ancient ' 
writer mentions such a punishment at Babylon, Monuments have 
been brought to light by modem travellers on the sites not only of 
Babylon, but of Susa, representing lions destroying and preying 
upon human beingS;" One of these is figured from an engraved 
gem dug from the ruins of Babylon by Capt. Miguan. It exhibits a 
man standing upon two sphinxes, and holding by the fore paws two 
rampant lions. But this is very different from the description given 
of it as quoted. In Layard's "Nineveh and Babylon" (p. 595) is an 
engraving of the figures on a circular vessel, the subject being 
" the Assyrian Hercules struggling with the Lion." At page 605 
is an engraving from a Babylonian cylinder of a Man holding the 



for the fable of the world being supported on the back 
of a tortoise, though his symbolical explanations of its 
meaning, if true, must like many other such explana- 

paws of a homed animal, standing upright, and of a human-headed 
feull "struggling with" or holding a rampant lion by the fore 

The emblems of the Evangelists St. Luke and St. Mark — ^the 
winged bull and the winged lion — ^may have been taken from the 
Assyrian sculptures : the instances being numerous of the appro- 
priation of Heathen symbols by the early Christians. (See note to 
p. 37.) 

The following from the Pall Mall Gazette of February 20, 1869 
exemplifies the growth of a mythical tale founded apparently on a 
figured representation : — 

" According to an old tradition of the village of Biddenden, in the 
middle of Kent, the Siamese twins are not the only known example 
of such a union. The tradition is, we are informed by a correspon- 
dent, that early in the twelfth century there lived in tnat parish two 
pisters, Eliza and Mary Chalkhurst, who from their birth were joined 
together by a double hgature, at the shoulders and at the hips. * The 
Biddenden Maids,' it is said> were bom in the year 1100, and lived 
in this "twin-ship" for just thirty-four years, when one of them was 
taken ill and in a short time died. The tradition is in about six 
hours afterwards the survivor was taken ill, and died also. The me- 
mory of these * Maids of Biddenden,' no doubt, would have died out 
long ago if it had not been for the fact that by their will they be- 
queathed to the churchwardens of their native parish — so, at least, the 
story goes — certain parcels of land in Biddenden, containing about 
twenty acres, and now let at about forty guineas a year, and that 
every Easter Sunday, at the end of the afternoon service, there are 
given away to all persons who are present at the church some little 
rolls, or rather cakes, stamped with an impression of their portraits, 
while the poor parishioners are regaled with some 300 quartern 
loaves and cheese in proportion. The * maids,' as represented on 
these cakes, are dressed in stiff robes, apparently of the Tudor times, 
stiff with buckram, and adorned round the neck with frills, and 
frilled caps on their heads. On their persons is stamped the legend, 
* A(ged) 34 Y(ears) in 1100.' Hasted, in his * History of Kent,' 
is inclined to reject the story of the Chalkhurst Maids aa fabulous, 
and to think that the bequest was the gift of two maiden sisters of 
the name of Preston ; he says that the story of the maids grew out of 
the cakes, and that the impressions on the cakes do not date farther 
back than fifty years before his ovm day, which would carry us back 
to about 1740 ; he remarks, too, that the silence of the early histo- 
rians of Kent upon the subject outweighs the force of the local tra- 

The arms of the city of Oxford, an ox wading through water, 
doubtless was founded on the supposed etymology of the name. 


tions be applicable in a derivative and not a primary- 
sense : — 

The tortoise is a frequent symbol of the double sex, or active and 
passive powers combined, though it might also have signified an- 
other, for like the serpent, it is extremely tenacious of Hfe. It might 
however have meant immortality, and we accordingly find it placed 
under the feet of many deities, such as Apollo, Mercury and Venus, 
and also serving as a support to tripods, pateras, and other symbo- 
lical utensils employed in religious rites. Hence in the figurative 
language of the poets and theologians, it might have been probably 
called the support of the deity, a mode of expression which probably 
gave rise to the absurd fable of the world's being supported on the 
back of a tortoise, which is still current among the Chinese and 
Hindoos, and is to be traced even among the savages of North Ame- 

Sufficient examples have now I think been produced 
to establish two propositions :— 

1. That the figurative or symbolical language of the 
Ancients applied to animals and birds, frequently if not 
generally, indicates deities of which they were emblems, 
or the heraldic insignia of persons and kingdoms. 

2. That emblematical devices, animate or inanimate, 
the figures of monsters and of deities, occurring singly 
or in various combinations on coins and gems, vases and 
temples, had originally an heraldic significance; subse- 
quently received allegorical and mystical meanings of other 
kinds ; and gave birth to many of the fables of Mythology 
and other legendary tales. 

If investigation verifies these propositions, it is obvious 
that Heraldry must prove a valuable adjunct in solving 
the problems of Mythology, and that Mythology in its 
turn is calculated to throw much light on Heraldry. 
Heraldry has one great advantage indeed over Philology 
in the elucidation of the obscurities not only of Mytho- 
logy but of Ethnology, — its forms are definite, strongly 
marked, and susceptible of no variations that efface their 

* The frog is found among the paintings of the Ancient Mexicans, 
and the Tortoise on their sculptured stones. A Tortoise occupies 
one of the compartments of Gauda's foot. It is the emblem of 
Munisuvrata the twentieth deified saint of the Jainas. (Capt. James 
Low on Buddha and the Phrabat — Journal of the Boyal Asiatic So- 
ciety 4to. vol. 3 p. 111.) 

H 2 


identity or prevent their recognition. The crescent and 
the star, the beetle and the serpent as symbols, the va- 
rious heraldic patterns which geometrical figtires consti- 
tute, are identical in conformation wherever they are 
met with. This is not the case with- language ; words 
are like dissolving views and Protean in shape, ever 
shifting their guise, subject to perpetual transformations, 
as evanescent, as mutable, as inconstant as the clouds 
of the air or the waves of the sea.* This must ever 
cause the explanations of Etymology to be uncertain; 
one plausible derivation only holds good till a better and 
truer is discovered; and the truth or certainty of any 
etymological explanation must be tested by other inci- 
dents and circumstances than what language indicates. 

Mr. Max Miiller notwithstanding has certainly shown 
that Language explains the growth of many legend- 
ary tales, f and that these and many mythological 

* Voltaire said Etymology was " une science ou les voyelles ne font 
lien, et les consonnes fort pen de chose." The transmutations which 
words undergo are such that the real origin and meaning of a word 
must be often pure guess-work. Who would detect St. Olave in 
Tooley Street, St. Ethelred in St. Awdry, Trotterscliffe in Trosley ? 
Who would not suppose that Elboeuf in Normandy had something 
to do with an ox, that bcBuf here means by, an abode ? Words with 
slight changes have opposite significations. Bleach to whiten is 
blanc in Erench, and not unlike the word black : Bee or Bach a stream 
easily becomes Peak Pic or Pike, the summit of a hill. 

Mr. Eergusson (" Hist, of Architecture ") considers architecture 
a better guide than language in tracing races. He observes " Look- 
ing on an ancient building we can not only tell in what state of 
civilization its builders lived, or how far they were advanced in the 
arts, but we can almost certainly say also to what race they belonged, 
and what their affinities were with other races or tribes of mankind. 
So far as my knowledge extends I don't know a single exception to 
this rule, and so far as I can judge, I believe that Architecture is in 
all instances as correct a test of race as language, and one far more 
easily applied and understood. Languages alter and become mixed, 
and when a change has been once established, it is extremely diffi- 
cult to follow it back to its origin, and unravel the elements which 
compose it ; but a building once erected stands unchanged to testify 
to the time when it was built, and the feelings and motives of its 
builders remain stamped indelibly upon it as long as it lasts." 

t Professor Miiller (Comparative Mythology, p. 42) gives a late 
instance of the growth of a myth. The Gbeek town of Cyrene in 
Libya was founded about Olympiad 37 ; the ruling race derived its 


febles in their outlines or their germs can be proved 
to have had their origin or are to be found in the poem 
of the Veda. But although the Veda may be one of 
the oldest written compositions in the world, many of the 
monuments all over the globe which ArchsBology makes 
known, reach back to a period long anterior to the Sans- 
krit poem. If therefore it is found that legends and 
fables that can be traced to the Veda prevail in countries 
and amongst peoples of non- Aryan race, it is obvious 
that they have found their way there through the con- 
origin from the Minyans, who reigned chiefly in lolkos in Southern 
Thessaly ; the foundation of the colony was due to the oracle of 
Apollo at Pytho. Hence the myth, — The heroic maid Kyrene who 
lived in Thessaly is loved by Apollo and carried off to Libya, while 
in modem language we should say, The town of Kyrene in Thessaly 
sent a colony to Libya under the auspices of Apollo. 

He gives instances of how Modem Mythology has arisen. The 
story of the 11,000 virgins of Cologne seems to have arisen from the 
name of St. UndecemiDa, a vu'gin martyr. The insertion of a single 
letter in the calendar has changed this name into the form " Unde- 
cem millia Virg. Mart.** Mr. Taylor (Words and JPlaces, p. 408) 
remarking " that the instinctive causativeness of the human mind, 
the perpetual endeavour to find a reason or a plausible explanation 
for ever^hing has corrupted many of the words which we have in 
daily use " gives the following instances : Coat-cards has become 
Coiirt-cards ; Shuttle-cork, Shuttle-cock ; quelque-choses, Kick- 
shaws, the inn signs Q-od encompasseth us the Goat and Com- 
passes, the Bacchanals the Bag of Nails ; Beauchef, Beachy head ; 
Leighton-beau- desert, Leighton Buzzard ; Mart Lane, Mark Lane : 
St. Olave's street, Tooley Street; St. Peter's eye, Battersea; St. 
Awdry, Tawdry ; Bellerophon, Billy Ruffian, etc. 

In one of the Citv churches there is a memorial to Peter Hey- 
wood, a member oi the ancient Lancashire family " of that ilk " 
which states that his great grandfather discovered or arrested Q-uy 
Eawkes. A careless reading of this inscription has given rise to the 
tale that Guy FawJces was buried there, which the pew-opener relates 
to all inquirers. 

At the time that Q-aribaldi took possession of Sicily and Naples 
the popular belief was that he was invulnerable, and that after every 
day's fight he shook his red shirt and the bullets fell out at his feet. 
As he was afterwards wounded in the foot, 1000 years hence, if 
myths are not entirely exploded by that time, he may be considered 
a solar hero, an Italian Achilles. 

Amongst the stories believed for a time in recent periods are the 
alleged destruction of Naples by an earthquake, the disappearance 
of the falls of Niagara, the Sea Serpent, and the submersion of the 
island of Tortola. 


quering or colonizing Aryans. They must therefore have 
displaced or transformed native legends and histories.* 
But we can scarcely conceive this process of extinction 

* The Comparative theory, as worked out by Professor Miiller, 
practically shuts out the acceptance of any historical element in the 
tale of the Trojan War. "We say practically, because we know that 
it does not exclude it formally, and that both the writers of whom 
we speak would distinctly deny that it does exclude it. That the 
tale of Achilleus represents the course of the Sun certainly does not 
formally forbid the notion that a real Achilleus fought before Ilion. 
Now we are not at all concerned to argue that there was any real 
Achilleus, or even any real Agamemnon. Our only point is that 
the Comparative system, so long as it deals chiefly with Q-reek mat- 
ters, has a tendency to put out of sight the real historical value of 
the Homeric poems, we mean by this simply that these poems de- 
scribe a real state of things somewhat idealized, so that, wtether 
Agamemnon or Odysseus ever lived or not, we can still use the Iliad 
and Odyssey as true pictures of early Q-reek manners. We mean 
also that certain real bits of history crop up here and there, as the 
early greatness of Mycenae and the -^neiad dynasty in the Troad. 
We mean also that, as Mr. Keightley showed long ago, Homer is a 
most important historical witness negatively, by utterly excluding 
all tales about Cecrops coming from Egypt and Pelops from Asia. 
All this is perfectly consistent with the views of Professor Miiller 
and Mr. Cox, and we believe that, whether they would accept or not 
this or that bit of detail, they would grant that the general position 
is quite consistent with their views. But it is not the less true that 
their views practically tend to obscure this way of looking at Homer. 
A survey of the Artnurian and Caroline cycles would help to cor- 
rect this tendency. We there see how myths grow round a kernel 
of fact — ^how, though not history, they contain much historical 
matter. Bits of the real history of Charles crop up through the 
mythical history, and the mythical history sets before us, to a certain 
extent, the real manners, not of Charles's age but of a later age, 
and, to a much greater degree, the notions and aspirations of that 
later age, and the ideal of chivalry which it set up. The real and 
the mythical histories of Charles give us a sort of test by which we 
see how much truth is likely to be found in a myth which we cannot 
check by real history. And that amount of truth is reaUy consi- 
derable. It at least preserves the fact that there was a time when 
one great Emperor reigned over many countries that were after- 
wards divided among many rulers. Here may well be a parallel to 
the empire of Agamemnon over " many islancfs and all Argos " — an 
empire which would have occurred to no one's imagination in the 
later divided state of Greece. Charles's Crusade is of course purely 
imaginary, but it is the reflection of the real Crusades, and it would 
alone be enough to show that real Crusades did take place. So the 
War of Troy may be imaginary, and yet it may be the reflection of 


or transformation to have been so complete as it would 
seem, for it is unaccompanied by those circumstances 
of conquest and occupation which are the conditions 
precedent of its occurrence. The wide prevalence too 
of the worship of the serpent which figures so con- 
j3tantly in the Vedic poems confirms this view. But if we 
regard the Yeda as the embodiment of feelings and sen- 
timents entertained by the progenitors of all the then 
dominant peoples, where the myths that can be traced to 
it or are found in it prevailed, or among whose successors 
they have been discovered, then a world-wide Mythology 
whose main features are everywhere resembling is more 
satisfactorily accounted for and more rationally ex- 

the Oreek settlements in Asia and of the wars which must have at- 
tended them. We should not be at all surprised if Professor Miiller 
discovered that the mythical Charles or the mythical Arthur was 
really the Sun, and whether we believed them or not, we should fully 
admit there was in such belief nothing inconsistent with the real 
history. A solar myth may, as on the Comparative theory it did 
in the case of the Nibelungen Lied, take in real persons like Charles 
and, we do not hesitate to say, Arthur. That a person or a fact is 
worked into a solar myth proves nothing against the historical truth 
of that person or fact. To believe that the Iliad is a solar myth is 
in no way inconsistent with believing that the Iliad contains frag- 
ments of history, like the existence of a great kingdom at Mycenae 
and the wars waged by the Greeks on the coast of Asia. The ana- 
logy of the Caroline legends leads us to expect to find thus much of 
truth in the Trojan legend. — Saturday Beview, April 2, 1864. 

* In the Veda divine names are given to Fire, the Wind, Storms, 
Bain, the Earth, Dew, etc. The Hymn to Indra invokes the Moun- 
tains, the Waters, and the Winds. Hence has arisen in Germany 
what is called the Meteorological theory as opposed to the Solar 
theory : this has been proposed by Professor ^uhn and obtained 
considerable assent. 

Mr. Max Miiller speaks of the writers of the Yeda as men " stand- 
ing on a level with our shepherds ; " and Mr. Cox says that their 
feeling was that " the sun who rose to-day was a difierent being from 
the sun who yesterday died in the western waters ; the calm twilight 
was his motionless repose after death; the night toiled with the 
birth of the coming day ; the purple clouds of the morning were the 
cattle of the sun, whom the dawn sent forth to their pastures ; the 
glittering dew was the bride whom unwittingly he slew in his fiery 
embrace." This is something like Thomson's " Seasons ; ** but the 
shepherd might be sought for in vain from the Grampians to the 
South Downs, whose conceptions would partake in the least of this 


To conclude. This chapter many will probably think 
occupies a disproportionate length in a work on the 
"Antiquities of Heraldry." The Comparative Mytho- 
legist, if he acquiesces in its views and conclusions, may 
think it is much too short, and that a volume would be 
insufficient to discuss and amplify them. But whatever 
amount of space the subject should occupy, if my doc- 
trines are pervaded by truth it is obvious that no work 
on the Antiquities of Heraldry could be complete with- 
out noticing the Heraldry of Mythology. 

poetical vein. The shepherd's philosophy as described by Shak- 
speare (As You Like It, iii. 2) has no such imaginative flights : ''I 
know the more one sickens, the worse at ease he is ; and that he that 
wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends ; 
that the property of rain is to wet and fire to bum ; that good pas- 
ture makes fat sheep and that a great cause of the night is lack of 
the sun." The Veoa mentions chariots, ships, armour, bridges, etc., 
which implies a certain stage of civilization and consequent intellec- 
tual culture. Mr. Miiller infers also that because no words indi- 
cating the art of writing occur in the Veda, therefore it was un- 
known. But does the Veda or any other similar work mention or 
allude to everi/ custom and practice then prevailing ? Caesar, a war- 
rior, in his Commentaries, a book about his Gmlic wars, is quite 
silent on the armour of the Ghiuls. This imagined simplicity and 
pastoral ignorance of the people who produced the Veda is opposed 
to analogies, and even to facts. 




A CURSORY examination of languages shows that names 
derived from the animal kingdom enter largely into the 
composition of personal and local nomenclature.* This 

* Sing in Sanskrit means Lion, and is the suffix in many Hindoo 
names, as Bunjeet-Sing, etc. Sang in Ghielic means the same thing. 
Among the Bomanized Britons, the lion gave rise to such names as 
i/ewTwellyn, etc. The Greek and Boman names into which it enters 
are numerous : as X^ocrates, i>odamas, Leon, i>onatus, X^onidas, 
iy^onder, etc. In the Teutonic language, we have i^onard, Xeopold, 
LeoYHoM, Leofricy etc. In Denmark names derived from it are 
abundant, as Zoirenharz, Xou^enstern, etc. And this is accounted 
for, as the Anglo-Norman nobility of Danish descent principally 
bore lions in their arms. In Saxon England, names of persons or 
places into which the word lion enters are rare, if not entirely 
wanting, whilst those animals as the fox, deer, swan, goat, bear, wolf, 
etc., which are heraldic ensigns amongst the Germans, and which do 
not occur amongst those of the Anglo-Normans, enter plentifully 
into the local nomenclature of the Saxon settlements. 

The Greek ipposy ikkos, Hobse, has given rise to a host of names, 
as HtppoUtvLSf Sippod&nms, Sippomedon, Sippaj^chuB, etc. These 
names Miss Tonge (Christian Names ii. 498) says show "that riding 
was the glory of the Hellenes ; " and she might have added of the 
Persians, the Bomans, and most other peoples. A horse being found 
on the coins of Macedon, and therefore probably indicating the 
dominion of some prince who bore that ensign, is a far more Ukely 
cause for these names. The German Bhos, a horse, has given birth 
to the names Hos&mxuid, ^bert, Soas, Sous, jBu^sell, etc. 

Aper, a Boab in Latin, is found in the names Arrius Aper, and 
perhaps Ap^iua, -^puleius, Apollo, etc. The German name Uber 
nas produced such names as JEberh&rd (Bverard), Uberwulf, Eber- 
mund (St. Evremund), -E?wart, etc. 

Lyhos^ a Wolp in Greek, and Lujpus in Latin, have given rise to 


fact has never hitherto (except in a few special cases) 
been explained by any cause connected with Heraldry. 
The obvious and superficial meaning of a name has been 
accepted as conclusive; a recondite meaning and one that 
does not appear on the surface, has rarely been sought 
after ; curiosity has been satisfied by an explanation that 
necessarily extinguishes doubt and arrests further en- 
quiry. Thus Maresfield and Horsefield as names of 
places at first sight explain themselves,* as do the sur-. 

countless names, as Zycaon, LycomedeBy Zycophron, Zycurgus, etc. 
The fable of Bomulus and Bemus being suckled by wolves, and the 
festival of Lupercalia, probably indicate the influence in early 
Eoman History of some chief who bore a wolf as his heraldic 
emblem. The wolf occurs frequ^itly amongst the cohort Ensigns 
mentioned in the Notitia Imperii. The names in the Teutonic 
languages compounded of t^^^are infinite. A St. Lupus succeeded 
St. Ursus in the see of Troyes in the fifth century. Q-uelph a 
Bavarian Count, who lived 820, was progenitor of the Dukes of 
Bavaria. The first Duke of Aquitaine, living 668, was sumamed 
Loup, as were two Dukes of Gascx)ny of the same race. 

From the German ar and the Scottish erne, for Eaole, we get 
such names as -4r«wald (Arnold), -4r»ulf, EarnsWl^ J^arn^wick, 
JEnrley, etc. 

The names Swan, Bear, Bull, Hart, Hound, Pox, Kaven, Hawk, 
Lamb, Gk)at, etc., are found as surnames singly and in composition, 
and the local names derived from them are numerous. 

Li the names Hiisdruiaf and Hanni^^, we detect the God Baal 
worshipped by the Phoenicians. Hannibal as a Christian name is 
frequent in Cornwall, a remarkable vestige left behind them by that 
trading people. 

* Mr. Taylor in his admirable work Words and Places, says (page 
488), " Many names are derived from animals. We find that of the 
Ox in Oxley, and perhaps in Oxford, and that of the Cow in Cowley, 
and many other places * * Deer, or perhaps wild animals generally, 
are found at Deerhurst, Dereham, Dereworth and Derby." But if 
this were the origin of the names of these places, as remarked in the 
text, they ought to be more numerous, to be spread all over England. 
How is it that there are so few places named after the Horse ? The 
fact is places — ^that is settlements by colonists — were named in former 
times, as now in Australia and America, after and by persons^ and not 
from natural features or uses, except in a few instances. As in the 
days of the Psalmist, " they call their lands after their own names." 
The tribe of the Deiri probably gave name to places beginning with 
the syllable Deer, and the tribe probably got their name from a chief 
whose heraldic bearing might have been a stag or deer. Capua was 
founded by Capys, which in Etruscan is said to mean hawk. The 
Saxon invader Cissa gave his name to Chichester and Cissbury in 


names of March and May, Spring and Winter, wliich 
according to the classification of the sources of names in 
which writers on the subject indulge, were derived from 
the Months and the Seasons. But when we find that 
these local names are rare when they ought to be 
numerous, and that September and Autumn are not 
found amongst Surnames, this more critical inquiry 
shows the unsoundness of the apparent etymology. 
On the other hand such names as Newton and Norton 
occur all over England, and the obvious meaning is here 
the true one ; as it is in the common family names of 
Davies, Wright, etc. 

We are not, however, concerned with the etymology 
of any names in which we cannot detect an etymon that 
stands for the name of some species of the animal king- 
dom, or of those objects that have likewise become in 
their representation heraldic symbols. But the pre- 
ceding observations were necessary to prepare the way 
for the removal of the same erroneous notions prevalent 
with respect to the meaning and origin of family and local 
names in which we trace the name of sonie bird or 
animal. Thus Mr. Lower in his first work on "English 

Sussex ; Brixi to Brixton, Clappa to Clapliam. A great number of 
similar instances are given in Mr. Taylor's work. 

The city of Berlin derived its name from the Bear, which is the 
city's armorial bearing, as it is of the canton and city of Berne. 
Albert the Bear, Margrave of Brandenburg, who lived in the 12th 
century, perhaps imposed his heraldic ensign on the future capital 
of Prussia. Here we have apparently an heraldic origin of the 
name of -the city and of its arms ; and so we don't hear of any such 
etymology as that it took its name from bears abounding in the 
country. Not so however of many Greek and Asiatic cities whose 
devices have come down to us on coins. Glides bore a key^ Cardia 
a hearty Melos a melons — ^which devices are said to have been taken 
as armes parlamies; but if cities got their names in most cases from 
their founders, might not those founders have given their names to 
the infant city, and their canting arms too, on the same principle as 
Kent took the ensign of Horsa, and the United States of America 
the arms of Washington, 3 bars and 3 mullets in chief, which was 
the origin of the stars and stripes of their flag ? Gulistan in Persia 
means the country of roses ; but might not the name have arisen on 
similar heraldic grounds? The heraldic terms Qules red, Sable 
black, and Azure blue, are of oriental origin. 


Surnames " (p. 11) says " To kill a wolf was to destroy 
a dangerous enemy, and to confer a benefit on society. 
Hence several Saxon proper names, ending in ulf and 
wolf^ as ^\AArulph^ the Wolf-killer, Ethel«(?o^, and many 
others." This pro tanio seems a satisfactory derivation ; 
but how is it that the killers of the fox, badger, deer, 
hare, etc., are not equally or more numerous than the wolf- 
killers, as evidenced by names ? But this like other 
superficial explanations succumbs on examination. It is 
like the explanation given of the reason of the horse 
being found on the coins of Macedon, — that the people 
of that country were fond of horses ; of the meaning of 
the city of Lycopolis, — that it was a place where wolves 
abounded. When therefore this ' ' short and easy method " 
of accounting for names will not bear scrutiny, as in most 
eases proving too much or not enough, a way is opened 
for an explanation of another and more satisfactory kind. 
Of this character is I conceive the Heraldic Origin of 
local and personal Names derived from the Animal King- 
dom, which I shall now attempt to exemplify. 

We have seen at pages 83 and 84 that figurative lan- 
guage was early employed to denote persons, peoples, 
and countries: that a person who bore on his shield a 
lion or a boar was called by the names of those animals ; 
that Greece and Persia are spoken of by Daniel as the 
Goat and the Eam ; that a country devoted to serpent- 
worship was said to be infested with serpents ; that the 
priests of Apollo were called swans, because that bird 
was sacred to the god, and that an army of wolves or 
ravens meant the ensigns under which the army fought. 
And we have seen at page 29 that the heads of the In- 
dian tribes are called Wolf, Fox, Turtle, etc., not because 
they have taken those names individually and personally, 
as typifying qualities they wished to indicate, but because 
they are the immemorial symbols of their respective 
tribes, and that whole tribes are called Eagles, Bears, 
etc. according to the device of their chief. And this 
custom it may be well conceived was the earliest fixed 
and hereditary personal nomenclature, and was confined 


to the successive heads of clans and tribes, other personal 
names being mere epithets, nicknames, and names de- 
rived from employments, and varying with each genera- 
tion. In the course of time these heraldic names would 
for other persons than the chiefs of clans be compounded 
with words of various signification ; and it wiU be found 
that such constitute a large portion of existing family 
nomenclature in all languages. 

According to the theory developed in Chapter V, ani- 
mals that were adopted as warlike emblems by warrior 
chieftains became objects of worship, after having at- 
tained a sacred character from being exhibited in reli- 
gious rites. The most renowned of these chieftains after 
death would be deified; and their worship would be 
identified with that of the warlike emblem, whether ani- 
mate or inanimate, which was the symbol of their race 
and their victories. Thus the scimitar (not as the chief 
weapon of war but) as the ensign of a warrior-chieftain 
was worshipped by the Scythians, and the Saxons of the 
same race who are said to have been named from Saexe^ 
a dagger, probably got their designation from their chief 
who adopted the sword as his ensign. 

Mythology, in accordance with this view, supplies 
many instances where the symbol or attribute of the 
deity bears the same name in some language as the deity 
itsefe Thus Mr. Layard mentions that Nwr^ in all Se- 
mitic languages, means Eagle, and is the etymon of 
Nisroch an Assyrian god. Nisroch was probably a dei- 
fied king whose emblem was an eagle. Again, Bacchus 
has been supposed to be identical with Nimrod, which 
name in Chaldee means a Tiger: hence perhaps the 
reason of the chariot of Bacchus being drawn by tigers. 
Diodorus Siculus says that Semiramis in the Syrian dia- 
lect means a wild pigeon or Dove. Hence the story that 
her life was preserved by doves, and that she was 
changed into a dove after death. Thebes in the Syrian 
language signifies a Cow. The Cadmeans are said to 
have founded this city in BoGotia on the spot where the 
symbol of a Cow sacred to Yenus was carried in a reli- 
gious procession. A similar story is told of the founda- 


tion of Macedon B.C. 814 by Caranus, which was the 
name says Hesychius used by the Cretans for a Goat. 
The city JEgea was named from aigo% a goat, and was 
the usual burying place of the Macedonian Kings. Mr. 
Fergusson in his History of Architecture (i. 48) remarks 
that the Bull was worshipped in most countries of Tura- 
nian origin. If I might hazard a conjecture as at page 
79 about the origin of serpent worship, I would start the 
hypothesis that in pre-historic time some distinguished 
chieftain who happened to bear a Bull for a device ex- 
tended his conquests and the dominion of his race, till 
this device became an object of worship over all Asia, 
and gave name to widely-spread peoples and localities. 
The bull or ox was an object of idolatry in Egypt, in 
China, in Japan, in India, in Bactria, in Babylon and As- 
syria ; and apparently passing over the rest of Europe,* 
in Scandinavia. At page 13 we have seen that the Thor 
of this latter coimtry signified in their language as in 
the Chaldee a Bull; and that at TJpsal, in the great 
Temple, this god was represented with the head of a 
bull on his breast; and on an ancient Phenician coin was 
a figure with the words Baal Thurz. The Indian god 
Indra is seen in Hindoo temples seated on a Bull ; and 
Mr. Taylorf states that the identity of the Scandinavian 
Thunor or Thor and Indra has been proved by Mann- 
hardt by a laborious comparison of the Teutonic and 
Indian myths. 

In the synonym of Thunor we see an attribute of Ju- 
piter embodied ; and his emblem the Eagle was placed 
according to Payne Knight (page 82) by the Scandina- 
vians on the head of their god Thor, and the bull on his 
breast. "Thor's Hammer" probably had an heraldic 
origin. At Mylasa in Caria, Sir Charles Fellowes tells 
usj he saw carved on the keystone of an arched gate- 
way a sacrificial axe of Jupiter ; and that he had seen 

* No Athenian coin bearing the device of a bull is known. 

t Words and Flctces^ p. 342, where is given a list of names of places 
founded by ScandinaTian colonists in which the name of their God 

X Travels in Asia Minor, p. 277. 


this emblem on four different teystones of arches built 
into different walls in the town ; and coins of the ancient 
city have the same emblem on them, and one represents 
Jupiter with the same axe in his hand. This so called 
" sacrificial-axe " was probably the heraldic symbol of 
some deified hero whose worship got merged in that of 
Jupiter ; and in support of this notion, it is remarkable 
that the word God is always represented in the inscrip- 
tion on the Rosetta Stone, and often on many others, by 
a character resembling a particular kind of hatchet. 
Moreover, the arms of Norway as early as Edward III 
(according to a roll of that date) were a lion rampant 
holding in his paws an awe. This bearing is not uncom- 
mon in Irish heraldry.* 

The Aryan race is said to be named after the Sanskrit 
word arya^ which means an agriculturist. But if the 
Turanian race got its name from an heraldic origin, 
might not the Aryans have had a similar derivation ?f 
The Sanskrit word Arah signifies the planet Mars, and is 
obviously identical with the Greek Ares, Areos^ the name 
of the God Mars.J The month of March was named 
from him, and its zodiacal sign is Aries, the Bam. The 
Persians are admittedly of Aryan descent, and their an- 
cient national ensign was a ram or a ram's head. In 
plate 80 of Moor's Hindu FantheoUy a Banner is repre- 
sented bearing the figure of a Eam.§ These facts lend 
a plausible countenance to the heraldic origin of the 
name. It is no argument against it that we don't find 
the ram as a venerated ensign amongst all nations of 
Aryan descent; for neither is the bull found as such 
amongst all Turanian races, nor the sword amongst, all 

* The ancient arms of the Yorkshire family of Tyas, which is said 
to be a corruption of Teutonicus, were three hammers on a chief. 

t Might not the Sanskrit word for HorBe^Aswaj have given rise to 
the word Asia ? In like manner the Buddhists got their name ori- 
ginally from Budh a Serpent. Hindoostan evidently got its name 
from Ind (moon) [see page 9] ; and probably Assyria and Syria from 
the Bury a race, the Sun worshippers, whose emblem was the Eagle the 
form of which enters into the mythological figures of the Assyrians. 

J Vans Kennedy, Affinity of Ancient and Hindu Mythology, p. 297. 

§ The Arii occur amongst the tribes of Germany mentioned by 


Saxon peoples : other ensigns may have in many coun- 
tries taien its place : the Eoman people as we have seen 
changed theirs several times. 

Most tribes took their names from their chiefs, and 
these from their ensigns.* Thus the Yarahas, a powerftil 

* Dr. Livingstone in his Missionary Travels (pp. 13, 271, 285) has 
pointed here and there to some remote connexion in primaeval ages 
between Egypt and South Central Africa. Thus the animal worship 
of the old Egyptians is traceable as far southward as the Bechuana 
Tribes. These tribes are also named after certain animals. The 
term Bakatla means " they of the monkey;'* Bahueruty "they of the 
alligator ; " Batlapiy " they of the fish," each tribe having a super- 
stitious dread of the animal after which it is called. A tribe never 
eats the animal which is its namesake, 

Mr. Tylor in his work Early History of Mankind (p. 280-1), ob- 
serves : " Sir Q-. Grey says that the Australians, as far as he is ac- 
quainted with them, are divided into great clans, and use the clan- 
name as a sort of surname, beside the individual name. * * In 
America the custom of marrying out of the clan is frequent and 
well marked; more than twenty years ago Sir G-eo. Grey called 
attention to the division of the Australians into families, each dis- 
tinguished by the name of some animal or vegetable, which served 
as their crest [? arms] or kobong ; the practice of reckoning clanship 
from the mother, and the prohibition of marriage within the clan, as 
all bearing a striking resemblance to similar usages found among 
the natives of North America. The Indian tribes are usually 
divided into clans, each distinguished by a Totem (Algonquin, do^ 
daim, that is, town mark) which is commonly some animal, as a bear, 
wolf, deer, etc., and may be compared on the one hand to a crest [?] 
and on the other to a surname. The Totem appears to be held as 
proof of descent from a common ancestor, and therefore the pro- 
riibition from marriage of two persons of the same totem must act 
as a bar on the side the totem descends, which is generally if not 
always on the female side. Such a prohibition is often mentioned 
by writers on the North American Indians. Morgan's account of 
the Iroquois rules is particularly remarkable. The father and child 
can never be of the same clan, descent going in all cases by the 
female line. Each nation had eight tribes, in two sets of four 
each : — 

1. Wolf. Bear. Beaver. Turtle. 

2. Deer. Snipe. Heron Hawk. 

A recent account from North "West America describes the cus- 
toms among the Indians of Nootka Sound. A whale therefore may 
not marry a whale, nor a frog a frog. A child again always takes 
the crest [?] of the mother, so that if the mother be a wolf, all her 
children will be wolves. As a rule also, descent is traced from the 
mother, and not from the father." 


Indo-Scythic tribe, were denominated from varaha a boar, 
the device of their head. The names of some tribes, as 
the Catti, the Taurini, bear on the face of them the 
names of the animals after which they are called. The 
clan Chattan (probably an oflfehoot of the Catti) who gave 
their name to the connty of Caithness, bore as their chief 
cognizance the wild mountain cat, and called their chief- 
tain, the Earl of Sutherland, Mohr an Chat, the Great 
Wild Cat.* The Saxon invader of Kent, Horsa, bore 
the well known ensign of the Horse, in correspondence 
with his name. Though we don't read of a tribe bear- 
ing his name, it is probable that he was a member or 
chief of a tribe who bore a name in some language or 
dialect that signified a horse. A host of names of per- 
sons and places contain the root of Gallus a cock. This 
bird is the national emblem of Gaul, and also of Wales, 
which the French call pays de Galles. The cock is a 
badge of Wales, and Henry YIII bore it as such, ar-- 
gent combed and wattled gules, along with the Saxon red 
dragon. In the language of Circassia, the name for that 
country is said to be the same as that for a Cock, and 
this bird is their national device.f Arthgal the first 
Earl of Warwick is said to have been one of the Knights 
of the Eound Table. Arth or l^arth signifies a Bear. 
One of his descendants it is said slew a giant who en- 
countered him with a tree torn up by the roots. Hence 
the cognizance of the Bear and Eagged Staff, which is as 
old at least as the 15th century, for in a MS. of that date 
the standard of Eichard Earl of Warwick bore that de- 

* Heraldry in History, Poetry, and Romance, by EUen J. Milling- 
ton, p. 325. 

t Barrington's Lectures on Heraldry p. 103. 

On a gem from Babylon is engraved a wiDged priest or deity 
standing before an altar surmounted by a cock. The Hebrew com- 
mentators conjecture that Nergal the idol of the men of Cufch, had 
the form of a cock (Layard's Nineveh, p. 538). In monuments of 
Grecian art the Cock is the most frequent symbol of Hermes, Mer- 
cury, or Anubis. He is also found sitting on a rock, with a Cock 
on nis right side, the goat on his left, and the tortoise at his feet. 
The Bam is more commonly employed to accompany him. (Payne 
Knight, Enquiry, etc. p. 124.) 



vice. The House of Orleans also bore this device, and 
likewise the Dukes of Burgundy. 

The Dukes of Mecklenburg bear for their arms a 
BulVa head. This is thus accounted for by Court de 
Gebelin.* They are descended from the kings of the 
Ostrogoths, who derived their armorial bearings from the 
Polabes over whom tiiey reigned, which name is com- 
posed of Bola or Whola^ which signifies a Bull or Ox, 
and of Hlawa a Head. 

The Saxons are said to have derived their name from 
Seaoae^ a dagger or short sword, the ensign probably of 
their first cMef.-f The arms said to have been borne by 
Sebert, one of the kings of the East Saxons in England, 
are three Falchions. The Scythians, who are supposed 
to have been of the same race, worshipped their tutelar 
deity the God of War, under the symbol of an iron 
scimitar. A scimitar is annually worshipped by the 
chivalry of Mewar in Hindostan. A sword or dagger is 
a prevalent charge in Polish blazonry. Sicily is sup- 
posed to have been named after a root allied to sica a 
sickle ; but may it not have got its name from a branch 
of the Saxons ? Menestrier the French writer on He- 
raldry says that the Chains of Navarre, the armorial en- 
signs of that kingdom, are explained by the fact that in 
the Basque language una Varra means an iron grating or 
chains.^ The arms of the kingdom of Castille are a 
Castle. All these are probably instances where inani- 
mate objects selected as heraldic ensigns have famished 
names, first to persons, and then to peoples over whom 
they reigned or kingdoms they foimded. 

We have seen in Chapter IV. (pages 44 and 48) in- 
stances where the ancient Eomans bore devices corre- 
sponding with their names. In mediaeval times nume- 
rous such examples are to be met with.§ The Swedish 

* Monde Primitif, viii. 151. 

t One may conceive that a land or a town might take its name 
from a powerful chief, and afterwards give it as an epithet to the 
people. — Thirlwall's History of Greece ^ i. 79. 

X Were the Portcullis the Badge of Henry YIII. and the arms of 
the city of Westminster in any way derived from this source ? 

§ The seal of Lucy (p. 178) is an early instance. The bearing 


family of Oxensteirn was named from their heraldic 
bearing a Bull's head. The Dauphin of France is said 
to have been so called from the Counts of Auvergne, of 
whom Guillaume YIII. bore according to the blazonry 
of the Crusaders a.d. 1147 un dauphin pame d'azur en 
champ d'or. In the case of many ancient families who 
bear or bore arms allusive to their names, it is in most 
instances impossible to tell whether they took their 
names from their arms, or vice versa, Charles Martel is 
said to have been so named from the heavy blows he 
dealt in the fight ; but it is just as likely that he bore a 
hammer-like axe as an heraldic device, and hence got or 
inherited his name.* 

of the family of De Arundel is another (p. 187). In the seals enu- 
merated (pp. 188-201) numerous other cases are to be met with. 
In the Roll of Edward II. containing about 1100 coats, a consider- 
able number are found ; but it is remarkable that out of 220 coats 
in this EoU in which a lion is a charge, not one is borne allusive to 
the name. But canting arms are given to the families of Corbet, 
Faulconer, Heron, Cokfeld, Barlingham (Gules 3 bears argent — the 
only instance in the roll of a Bear) Swynebome, Videlou (argent 
3 wolves' heads argent) "Wauncy (6 and 3 gauntlets) Trumpington, 
Septvans, Conyers, Rossell, Erenney, and Eschales. 

In some cases arms were borne that were originally allusive. Thus 
the coat of Sir William de Cosington, azure three roses or^ is allusive 
to the name of the family from whom he was descended, viz. De 
Eos. Sir Eauf de Gorges bears azvo'e 6 mascles or, whilst his an- 
cestor of the same names in the Roll of Henry III. (1240-5) bore 
the canting coat of a whirlpool {gu/rges) blazoned as Boelee argent 
and aziire. The latter was aoubtless the original coat, and the former 
taken on marriage with some family who bore it. But a contrary 
case occurs in the family of De Clare, one of whom at an early pe- 
riod bore 3 Clarions, the arms of the head of the family being the 
well known Chevrons, and De Clare being a name taken by the 
family since the Conquest from their lordship of Clare in Suffolk. 

* Id. the abovementioned EoU Sable three hammers arg, are ascribed 
to Sir Adam Martel. 

I 2 




We have endeavoured to show in preceding chapters 
how the multifarious objects which have become Her- 
aldic symbols had their origin. It will be our purpose 
now, after considerably enlarging this field of inquiry 
and adding fresh illustrations and examples, to trace 
the descent of these symbols and their germs from the 
earliest historic times to the present day; to produce 
arguments in favour of the hereditary transmission of 
personal devices at all times, and to bring together the 
testimonies and facts which support that opinion. 

When we survey the remains of antiquity that are 
impressed with the sacred symbols of IteUgion, or the 
insignia of Peoples and Clans, we are struck with the 
imiversal prevalence of some of these, and the partial 
occurrence of others; whilst through the lapse of ages 
they have all continued in use in some form more or less 
striking, and more or less extensive, and are now 
scarcely with any exceptions enshrined and perpetuated 
in existing European Heraldry. 

The serpent as we have seen is met with as an object 
of worship, and symbolized in every part of the globe 
where archaeological inquiries have been instituted. The 
same observation may be made of the Phallus, which 
gave rise to the infinite forms of the cross, that have 
formed so large an element in mediaeval Heraldry. The 
emblems adopted by the early Buddhist priests have had 


a singularly wide circulation ; they are found embodied 
in the heraldic insignia of the ancient Greeks and Ko- 
mans, and at the same period, were in use by races in 
Europe that were then accounted barbarous or were un- 
known. But in examining the coins and other monu- 
ments of antiquity, we are struck with the almost entire 
absence amongst the Eomans of insignia that prevailed 
elsewhere. Thus the horse is not found amongst the 
cohort devices of that people, whilst in Gaid, Britain, 
Spain, and Africa, it is constantly met with on their 
coins. The fleur de lis is with them also equally rare, as 
it is amongst the monuments of Nineveh; wkst the 
star, the cinqfoil, and the crescent seem to have been 
frequent in use as symbols both on the banks of the 
Tiber and the Tigris. And it is remarkable that the Lion 
as an emblem is almost if not quite unknown amongst 
the insignia of the Eomans ; and though it occurs abun- 
dantly in the symbolical representations of Persia and 
Assyria, it seems for centuries to have been held in esti- 
mation as an emblem by a people and in a country who 
have left no memorials behind of their cherished device. 
This people probably colonized Scandinavia, whose chief- 
tains or their descendants the Normans, we find in the 12th 
century regarded it as their favourite heraldic bearing. 

This cursory glance is sufficient to show (what a more 
detailed examination will abundantly confirm) that nations 
and peoples did not capriciously assume and use the in- 
signia which distinguished them; that as in other customs, 
they kept to the observances of their forefathers, and 
carried them with them in their migrations : that they 
held in sacred regard their own insignia, and cared not to 
change them or adopt others, except where those of a 
conquered people were substituted or amalgamated, or 
some memorable occurrence gave birth to a new device. 

Before I attempt to justify and exemplify these last 
observations, I will proceed to present to the reader's 
notice the additional facts referred to at the commence- 
ment of this chapter. 

In the note to page 17, a brief account, is given of 


the peculiar patterns resembling the tatoo of the 'New 
Zealander, found engraved on the slabs of cromlechs in 
Britanny and Ireland. In the Journal of the British 
Arch{Boloffical Association (xvi. 101) is an article "On the 
Rock Basins of Dartmoor, and some British Remains in 
England," by Sir G. Wilkinson, from which the following 
are extracts : — 

Certain rude concentric rings carved upon stones, whicli as far as 
my observations carry me, only occur outside the enceinte of ancient 
forts or of sacred circles, appear to be confined to the north of our 
island, and chiefly to Nortniunberland. I have also met with one 
on the long upright stone outside the sacred circle near Penrith 
in Cumberland, known by the name of "Long Meg and her 
Daughters," but they are not found in Devonshire and Corn- 
wall. They generally consist of three or four concentric rings. 

* * The first that I observed was that on the stone called Long 
Meg. This was in 1835, at which time I believe they had never 
been noticed, and in 1850, 1 met with other instances of these con- 
centric rings at the double British Camp called Old Berwick in 
Northumberland. I there found several carved upon two large 
blocks. * * In 1851 the attention of the Archaeological Insti- 
tute during their meeting at Newcastle, was directed to the dis- 
covery of others at Eowtin Lynn near Ford in the same county. 

* * There the rings are very numerous, amountiag to between 
twenty and thirty, and the rock is rather more than seventy feet in 
length. Some are more varied in form than those of Old Berwick, 
though they seem mostly to be designed on the same principle, with 
the exception of some small rings, and one of a semi-elliptical figure. 

* * On one of the blocks at Old Berwick, are about five rings ; 
and the other bears from ten to twelve, some of which are double, 
like others at Eowtin Lynn. Other rings are said to be found in 
Northumberland, at Dowth, and at Ford Westfield, and another 
occurs on a stone in one of the cells of a tumulus opened in 1853 
at Pickaquoy near Kirkwall in Orkney. Some at New Grange near 
Drogheda in Ireland (on the upright slabs forming the entrance 
passage to the sepulchral cell) representing a skull-shaped design, 
may be thought to represent a similar character, but others at the 
same place, which are convoluted, and consist of several spiral folds 
turning in opposite directions, differ essentially from the concentric 
rings here alluded to, and are more like those at Ghavr Innis in the 
Morbihan. Others are found on what are called the Calderstones, 
near Liverpool ; but the principal one being convoluted, while two 
others consist each of a central and outer ring, with another device 
below one of them of elongated and pointed form, like an animal's 
nose, they may also be considered distinct from the concentric rings 
of Northumberland, though they may assist in establishing the fact 
of circular devices having been common in the northern parts of the 
country. Those which are of the very complicated character before 


mentioned, bear some analogy to the mazes or labyrinths met with in 
Cumberland, Yorkshire, Beds, Hants, Wilts, Dorsetshire, and other 
parts of England cut in turf, and to others formed of stone which 
are found in Italy.* * * One of the stones figured in Wilson's 
Prehistoric Annals of Scotland (p. 322) which was once the cover- 
stone of a cist found at Coilsfield in Ayrshire, has concentric rings 
carved upon it, not very unlike some at Eowtin Lynn and Old 
Berwick, and that it is of British time is proved by the pattern on 
the i*m containing the burnt bones buried in the tomb. There is 
also one given in plate 123 of Mr. Stuart's Sculptti/red Stones in 
Scotland, which was found at High Auchinlay by Wigton Bay, and 
has similar rings ; others have been foimd on a small slab dug up in 
the fortified enclosure on a hill top near Dundee. * * * * The 
introduction of emblems such as the concentric rings, in which the 
monuments of the North differ from those of Devonshire and Corn- 
wall and other southern parts of Britain, may be owing to some 
diversity in the habits of the two peoples ; for though similar in their 
general customs, and in their erection of sacred circles, cromlechs, 
and other monuments, the Celtic tribes of the North and South had 
some peculiarities which may be traced in their tombs and dwellings, 
and in certain parts where a difference might reasonably be expected 
from their being far removed from each other, and above all from 
their belonging in most cases not merely to different tribes but to 
two distinct branches of the Celtic family. It must however be ad- 
mitted that those who lived still further to the south had the 
custom of engraving stones with various devices, and some found 
at Q-avr Tunis in the Morbihan are covered with most complicated 

The subject is continued by the same distinguished 
author in volume 18 of the same journal (p. 22) in a 
long article entitled the *^ British Kemains on Dartmoor" 
wherein at page 29, he remarks : — 

* In volume xv. of the Archaological Journal of the ** Institute " 
is an article entitled "Notices of Ancient and MedisBval Labyrinths," 
from which the following facts and remarks are extracted : — 

The Labyrinth in various forms occurs on the reverses of coins of 
Cnossus (Montfaucon, Antiquite JExp, t. ii. pi. xii. : Smith's Diet, 
of Qreek and Boman Oeography), The Cretan labyrinth is found on 
tiie reverses of coins of Cnossus, as also on Greek and Eoman gems, 
and it was occasionally represented on the mosaic pavements of 
Greek and Boman Halls. 

But perhaps the most surprising fact connected with the my- 
thological labyrinth, is its acceptance by Christians, and its adapta- 
tion by the church to a higher signification than it originally bore. 
First, it was used as an ornament on one of the state robes of the 
Christian Emperors, previously to the 9th century. Next it was 
adapted in all its details, including the minotaur, by Ecclesiastics, 
and was pourtrayed in churches. 


I cannot subscribe to the opinion that the conversion of the Bri- 
tons to Christianity would necessarily lead to the destruction of all 
the monuments of their former superstition. This is not confirmed 
by experience. The Egyptian, Greek, Boman, and other sacred 
monuments remain; many temples were actually conyerted into 
churches (as Christian churches were adopted for masks by those 
most bigoted people the Moslems and their conyerts) and the early 
mosaics and paintings of the Christians admitted heathen representa- 
tions, as Charon, Orpheus, Cupids, the riyer god of the Jordan, and 
yarious emblems into their own sacred subjects, if they happened to be 
thought suitable to them ; and the basilica became a church merely 
because the temple was still occupied.* 

The " long stones " of Britain were probably always sepulchral, 
and not treated as idols ; and were also adopted for this purpose in 
our island in Christian times, many bearing Latin inscriptions, re- 
cording the names of persons buried beneath them. They are then 
frequently surmounted by a cross, and ornamented with the inter- 
laced work so common in Ireland, which has been rather hastily de- 
nominated the Runic knot. One of them with this interlaced 
ornament near Liskeard, bears an inscription purporting that it was 
of Dongerth, king of Cornwall, who was drowned a.d. 872 ; another 
of Carausius the son of Canimorus a Bomanized Briton, is near 
Lostwithiel : another a quarter of a nule from the noted stone near 
Lanyon called men scr^a, " the inscribed stone," bears the name of 

* I haye found the statue of a god pared down into a Christian 
saint — a heathen altar conyerted into a church box for the poor — a 
bacchanalian yase officiating as a baptismal font — a bacchanalian 
tripod supporting the holy water basin — ^the sarcophagus of an old 
Koman adored as a shrine full of relics — cips which were inscribed to 
the IHis Manihus, now set in payements nallowed by the knees of 
the deyout — ^the braes columns of Jupiter Capitolinus now conse- 
crated to the altar of the blessed sacrament — and the tomb of 
Agpippa now the tomb of a pope. 

I^otning coidd protect a statue from such zealots as St. Gregory, 
but its conyersion to Christianity. That holy barbarian, though 
bom a Roman, and though Pontiff of Eome, was more brutal than 
its enemies. Alaric and Attila plundered, Q-enseric and Constans 
remoyed ; but Q-regory's atrocious joy was to dash in pieces. Yet 
this man, who persecuted the fine arts, and (if we may belieye John 
of Salisbury) burned the imperial library of Apollo, has lately found 
authors to defend him. 

The Catholic religion is surely a friend, but an interested friend 
to the fine arts. It rejects nothing that is old or beautiful. Had 
ancient Eome fallen into the power of gloomy Presbyterians, we 
should now look in yain for the sacred part of its ruins. Their ico- 
noclastic zeal would haye confounded beauty mth idolatry, for the 
pleasure of demolishing both. They would liaye leyelled the temple 
and preached in a bam. The Catholics let the temple stand, and 
gloried in its conyersion to Christianity. — Forsyth's Italy, p. 134. 


45) [ggj @\g) ' 

llBHBig '|5,-T^ 

© 000 


Biolobran, son of Cunoval, and others are found in various places. 
Ogham inscriptions also occur on many long stones in Ireland, and 
on some few in Scotland and Wales, wnich have been attributed to 
Christian time (p. 52). 

At page 115, the author referring to the concentric 
rings and markings before mentioned by him, says 
'' Others have since been found in Northumberland, and 
a description of them as well as of those before alluded to 
will shortly be given by Mr. Tate of Alnwick, whose 
son has lately discovered a singular emblem carved on 
one of the pillar ^ trilithons ' at Stonehenge ; '' and he 
mentions among other convoluted monuments, some 
found at the Torre dei Giganti in Gozo in Malta, where 
they resemble rude Greek scrolls. 

In the Arch(Bologia (xxv. 230) is an article by the Eev. 
J. B. Deane entitled ^' Eemarks on Celtic monuments at 
Lochmariaker in Brittany, '^ which he says '^ was without 
doubt a great town, and the capital of the district in 
which it stood, and where is to be seen a group of some 
of the most interesting Celtic remains in the Morbihan." 
He thus further observes : — 

One of the supporting stones of a cromlech here is charged with 
remarkable curvilinear characters, regularly arranged in two columns, 
each containing three divisions of four lines each. * * I can't 
conceive what they are intended to represent. The table also ex- 
hibits upon its under surface two hieroglyphical diagrams similarly- 
raised on the stone ; * * one of them resembles in some degree 
the instrument called a celt^ the other is more like a hey. But the 
former is conjectured by M. Mahe to be intended for the phallic 
emblem. * * The Synan deity Lilith, so celebrated in the mytho- 
logy of the Jewish Rabbins was once adored in the Morbihan. Her 
statue may be still seen in a perfect state at the chateau of Quini- 
pili near feaud, where it was * placed upon a pedestal by a former 
ovmer of the domain. The only covering which the figure has is a 
cap with two flaps, and what is very remarkable, the head-dress of 
the female peasantry of the commune in which the statue stands is 
precisely a copy of Lilith's cap, and worn in the same manner. 
Another pecuharity of dress which savours of an oriental origin, is 
observable among the male peasants ; they all wear a chequered cloth, 
like the South country plaid of Scotland, bound round the loins, and 
call it a twrhcm, M. de Penhouet conjectures that when the Asiatic 
colony (whoever they were) emigrated to Britanny, they transferred 
the turban from the head to the loins, retaining the name, though 
they lost the original use of the garment. * * Within another 


tomb at Lochmariaker (now I believe destroyed) M. de Penhouet 
discovered in 1813 several very interesting hieroglyphics, which he 
has engraved in his Archeologie Armoricaine, The circle (single 
and concentric) the horse-shoe, the branch of a tree, and the harp 
are the symbols chiefly delineated. The first three are sometimes 
seen in conjunction with a horse, and horse's head, upon the coins of 

We will now coUect what information can be gleaned 
concerning the various marks, devices, and patterns, 
which were impressed on the pottery exhumed from the 
burial places of the early races of mankind. The great 
value of this kind of information may be best expressed 
in the concluding words of Mr. Birch, in his elaborate 
History of Ancient Pottery (ii. 395). " To the history of 
those races which have left no written records, no in- 
scribed memorials, their pottery is an invaluable guide. 
♦ ♦ Its use is anterior to that of metals ; it is as en- 
during as brass. ♦ ♦ The use of letters is compara- 
tively recent : the glyptic and graphic arts only exist in 
their later forms as exercised on imperishable materials : 
but in every quarter of the world, fictile fragments of 
the earliest efforts lie beneath the soil, fragile but en- 
during remains of the time when the world was in its 

But the information which Mr. Birch's work gives of 
the rude pottery of pre-historic peoples, as compared with 
the more elegant vases and other vessels of the Greeks, 
Etruscans, and Eomans, is comparatively scanty, being 
confined to about twenty pages out of two volumes : un- 
der the heading of " Celtic, Teutonic, and Scandinavian 
Pottery" we are informed (i. 378) : — 

The pottery which is found in the barrows or tumuli of the early- 
Celtic race, among the remains of stone or bronze weapons, and rude 
amber and glass beads, resembles in its general appearance the urns 
of the Scandinavians, and the vases of other primitive people, above 
all of the Teutonic tribes. * * The principal ornament is the 
herring-bone, the same which appears on the tores, celts, bracelets, 
and glass beads, and is perhaps a representation of the tatooing or 
painted marks on the body in use amongst the ancient Ghiuls and 
JBritons. These ornaments differ, each tribe and age probably adopt- 
ing a different style. The early pottery of Scotland found in the 
graves of the ancient inhabitants, principally of those of the so-called 
bronze period, anterior to and contemporary with the Boman Con- 


quest of Britain is exactly like that of the rest of the island. * * 
The urns discovered in Ireland are more elaborate in ornament, the 
whole body of the um being decorated with punctured marks, lines, 
zones, zigzags, and bands. The prevalence of the triangular and 
hatched ornament is peculiarly Celtic, and appears on the gold 
objects as well as the urns. The ornaments of 

Teutonic Pottebt 

are either painted with colours or moulded or engraved ; they con- 
sist of hatched lines, bands of points concentric to the axis, meanders, 
chequers, network lines [? heraldic fretty] semi-circles and dots 
[pellets] diagonals, triangles, lunes [? crescents] and pentagonal 
ornaments, all peculiar to the Teutonic pottery. Some of the orna- 
ments, such as the msBander, are probably as late as the Boman 
Empire. The prevalent ornamentation in 

Scandinavian Pottebt 

is the fret or herring bone, and triangular bands arranged horizontally 
or vertically to the axis of the vase. They are found in the oldest 
tombs of tne so-called stone period, and held or covered the ashes 
of the oldest inhabitants of tne Cymbric Chersonese. * * Not 
only eetch tribe or family use a separate type of shape and omamenta- 
tion, but even these are in their turn insensibly influenced by time 
and external circumstances. Hence the advance and progress of 
certain races as relating to themselves, or as compared with others, 
are to be seen in their monumental remains. 

From the "Guide to the first Yase Boom" of the 
British Museum, by Mr. C. T. Newton, we get the 
following information respecting the ornamentation of 

Geeek and Eteuscan Potteet. 

The earliest specimens of Greek or Etruscan fictile art in the 
Museum belonging to the Archaic period extending from the com- 
mencement of Greek civilization to 440, B.C., are the vases from 
Athens, Melos, Corinth, and other parts of Greece and the Archi- 
pelago. The designs on these vases consist of mseanders, stars, 
lozenges, waves, chequers, and other ornaments, arranged in con- 
centric bands, apparently in imitation of wicker-work. In this 
style animal forms are very sparingly introduced, and are drawn in 
the rudest manner. In addition to this, Mr. Birch acquaints us 
(ii. 3) that the msBander ornament differs very considerably on the 
various vases on which it is found ; that chequered panels disposed 
either horizontally or vertically, are extensively used on the fawn 
coloured vases, and on those with yellow grounds; that on the 
earlier vases bands of annulets occur as on the foot of a vase in the 
British Museum ; and that the egg and tongue ornaments are em- 
ployed on vases of all periods. 


In the first and second volumes of the Journal of the 
Boyal Asiatic Society^ there is a very interesting series of 
articles on "Ancient Chinese Vases," with numerous 
illustrations, furnishing a variety of examples of the 
peculiar ornamentation at a very early period of the 
primitive races of the Celestial Empire. The writer 
informs us that — 

At one period of Chinese history a custom seems to have prevailed 
of interring with the dead honorary vases, which reposed with them 
for ages till the civil wars, a.d. 200, when the graves of the ancient 
monarch s and eminent statesmen were dug up, and their ashes dis- 
persed. Many of these ancient relics were then discovered, and 
have been preserved to the present period. They are said to be 
3,500 years old, while their inscriptions establish unquestionably the 
fact that the present Chinese written character is derived from mero- 
glyphical representations (i. 58) . 

Some of the characteristic ornaments or devices are 
represented in the plates. Amongst them we find the 
Annulet, Mascle, Crescent, the Dragon and Tiger's- 
head, the Boar, Fish, and Cat's or Leopard's face. The 
S ornament is also met with. We seem to have names 
derived from inanimate objects which were heraldic signs. 
Thus some of the descendants of the celebrated Tu were 
called Ko (a lance). Hence from respect and veneration 
for the family, many of the vases, bottles, jars, etc., of 
this dynasty have that character engraved on them 
(i. 82). One vase is chiefly embellished with the Tun- 
luy (cloud and thunder) ornament (i. 83). Another vase 
had an ancient form of Ting (a tripod) engraved on it 
(i. 84). 

The ornamentation and symbols found on the sculptured 
stones of Scotland, and figured in Mr. Stuart's magni- 
ficent work before mentioned, are of the highest interest 
and instruction. Mr. Westwood, who has given great 
attention to the subject generally, has written a detailed 
and able account of the contents of this work in a Eeview 
of it in the Archceological Journal (xiv. 185), from which 
the following are extracts : — 

The ornaments with which a considerable number of these monu- 
ments are sculptured correspond almost entirely with those which 


are found in the finest Irish and earliest Anglo-Saxon MSS., and 
which are described in considerable detail in a paper by the writer 
of this notice published in the Journal of the Institute, volume 10. 
The interlaced ribbon pattern, the interlaced lacertine or other 
Zoomorphic pattern, the spiral pattern, and the diagonal pattern, 
are all fcund on these stones, as elaborately and carefully executed 
as in the Book of Kells, or the Q-ospels of Lindisfame, occurring 
sometimes as surface decorations oi the cross, or at others as 
marginal borders or frames to the design, being arranged in panels, 
just as in the MSS. 

In the Maiden stone (plate 2) the diagonal Z pattern is arranged 
into a circle or wheel witn remarkable elegance and simplicity, the 
central space being filled with the spiral or trumpet pattern with 
less effect. Hie splendid stone at Shandwick (plates 26 and 27) ex- 
hibits in the middle of the reverse side a large square panel fiUed 
with the spiral pattern, arranged in gradually enlarged circles in a 
very unusual manner ; the two groups of interlaced serpents at the 
foot of the stone are also as elegant as they are novel in their 
arrangement. The groups of lacertine animals on the Nigg stone 
are very elegant, and bear considerable resemblance to the groups 
on one of the tesselated pages in one of the St. GaU MSS. of which 
the writer of this notice has given two examples in one of the plates 
of Owen Jones' Qrammar of Ornament as well as a few others (fol. 48, 
56). * * * In Suenos stones (plates 20 and 21) the edges are 
ornamented with a flowing arabesque design, in which although the 
details are rather confused, there is considerable interlacing inter- 
mixed. The same occurs also on the Hilton stone (plate 25) in 
which the marginal ornament has quite a Norman scroll-like 
character, with small leaves and berries at the end of the scrolls, 
and with birds and fantastic dragons introduced into the whorls 
on this stone. A very similar marginal design also occurs on the 
fragment at Tarbet. A somewhat similar design at Mugdrum 
(plate 52) in which a series of circles are united by foliated 
branches is very effective. * * In the Qoldspie stone (plate 
34) as well as in the Strathmartin stone (plate 7y) and the Aber- 
cromby fragment (plate 124) the edges are decorated with a series 
of S like ^lilloche frets. * * The Bewre stone (plate 126) has 
one of the edges and a marginal border of a panel ornamented with 
a genuine classical fret, formed by opposite lines bent at right 
angles. * * * "VVe believe the Norwegian Danish or Teutonic 
influences not to have had the slightest effect on either the forma- 
tion or modification of the ornamental details on these stones ; 
firstly, because they occur in our national monuments (especially 
Nigg) centuries before the Northern nations of Europe were Chris- 
tianized; and secondly, because they do not occur at all in the 
earliest Norwegian or Danish Christian and Runic monuments. 

The symbols upon the sculptured stones of Scotland constitute 
their most remarkable, and indeed unique peculiarities. * * The 
cross as the chief symbol of the Christian faith appears on a great 
number of the Scottish stones. The work before us contains 150 


stones, and of these 75, or exactly one half, are without representa- 
tions of the cross, which is often accompanied only by ornamental 
details, but oftener by the remarkable symbols noticed below, which 
appear not only on tne reverse side of the stone, but often occupy- 
ing the open spaces above and below the arms of the cross. * * 
Of the 75 stones here figured, which are destitute of the Christian 
symbol of the cross, a considerable portion occur within a limited 
district, namely along the banks of the river Don and its tributa- 
ries, or rather m the North-Eastem extremity of central Scotland, 
bounded by the river Dee and the Eastern stream of the river Spey ; 
throughout this district which comprises about 40 stones, not more 
than five bear representations of the cross, and these are but mode- 
rately ornamented. They are not however confined to this district, 
since we find a stone at Sandness (pi. 138) in Shetland, (being the 
most northemly monument figured in the work) on which the sym- 
bols occur which have been termed the mirror, the fibula, and another 
not unlike a folded and sealed letter ; another at South Bonaldshay 
in the Orkneys (pi. 96) bearing two crescents, with a double oblique 
sceptre, the mirror and an elegant unique ornament; others are 
also met with from Dunrobin to Edinburgh. # # # # 

The feeling which led to the adoption of these symbols was spread 
over the whole of Scotland, and this is exactly what we also find 
exhibited by the ornamental devices and sculptured figures. The 
Bressay stone in Shetland (pi. 95 and 96) which bears a lion, boar, 
dogs, monkeys, interlaced ribbons, wheel-crosses and monsters de- 
vouring a man, might have been sculptured in Angus ; and the stone 
at Farr (pi. 35) Ooldspie (pi. 34) at Wilton (pi. 25) Shandwick (pi. 
26, 27) Nigg (pi. 28, 29) and Eosemarkie (pi. 105, 6, 7 and 8) all 
north of the Moray frith, are all as elaborately carved as any of the 
stones in central Scotland, with which their desigiis agree ; in fact 
some of the latter equal in their enrichments the most intricate of 
the ornaments in the finest Anglo-Saxon and Irish MSS., and, could 
only have been executed by men perfectly familiar with such works, 
although we find mixed up with them some one or more of the 
strange symbols which never occur in the MSS. * * # 

With reference to the origin of these symbols Mr. Stuart observes 
that if they could have been derived from Bome we might " natu* 
rally expect to find them in other countries open to the same influ- 
ence, whereas we have seen that the reverse of this is the case. If 
again the symbols had been Christian ones, then we should certainly 
have found them in other parts of Christendom as well as in Scot- 
land. TTie only inference which remains, seems to be that most of 
these symbols were peculiar to a people on the North East coast of 
Scotland, and were used by them at least partly for sepulchral mo- 
numents. It seems probable that the earlv missionaries found them 
in use among the people of the district, and adopted them for a time, 
and in a more elaborate shape in the Christian monuments on the 
principle of concession." 

The Z ornament, or reversed Z traversed by a cross-bar accom- 
panied with rings, and surrounded by serpents biting their tails, 


occur and are found on Gnostic gems. Mr. Stuart says " it is de- 
serving of observation that wbiJe the same symbols perpetually 
occur on different stones, yet on no two stones is the arrangement the 
same, which seems to imply a meaning and intent in the arrangement 
of them, 

I will now produce some farther extracts from the 
learned and elaborate Introduction and Appendix to Mr. 
Stuart's sumptuous work, and also from another author 
on the same highly interesting subject. It will be seen 
that Mr. Stuart inclines to the view that the symbols 
spoken of were tribal devices of an heraldic character : — 

Besides the objects which are figured on the rude piUar stones, 
and have been classed as symbols, such as the mirror, comb,* spec- 
tacles, horseshoe figure, fish, elephant and serpent, there are the 
cross slabs, many representations, of wHch some may perhaps be held 
to be of the nature of personal symbols, such as the dog's head on 
the silver ornament from Norrie's Law. * * * The Centaur 
appears both on Scotch and Irish monuments. * * The Pegasus 
occurs on British coins, as also the head of Medusa. The Eagle is 
also a favourite on British as well as Gaulish coins It is seen on 
a coin of Tasciovanus with a Q-riffin on the reverse. Mr. Evans points 
out the occurrence of the griffin on other British as well as Q-auHsh 
coins, and supposes them to be of classical origin. * * Among 
the devices on British coins may be noticed circles, crescents and 
wheels. Among animals figured on British coins are the Boar,f 
Goat, Hippocampus, Serpent and possibly the Elephant. * * At 
St. Ajadrews we find apes and leopards so formed as to be recog- 
nizable. It was the favourite idea of the medisBval architects to in- 

* The mirror in ancient Etruscan, Boman, and Frankish tombs is 
of frequent occurrence on Scottish Pillars and Cross Slabs. 

The symbol like a comb resembles a frequent emblem on Indo- 
Scythic coins (Dr. Moore, p. 94). 

t M. de la Saussaye says " the Boar is to be found on the coins of 
every part of Gaul, as well as on the coins struck by the cognate 
Celtic races of Britain, Spain, Illyria, and Galatia. In English 
coins it is to be found on gold, silver, and copper, even on the coins 
of Cunobelin it is to be seen." The shield found in the bed of the 
Witham is a fine example of enamelled scroll work. Mr. Franks 
discovered on cleaning it the outline of the figure of a hoar or hog, 
so remarkably identical with that animal as represented on certain 
Gaulish coins. The fine shield found in the bed of the Thames was 
enamelled with thB fylfot ornament : this is in the British Museum. 
— Kemble's SLorce Ferales, p. 186. 

Tacitus says of the Estonians that they bore as an ensign the 
form of a Boar (Germania § 45) : vide Evans' British Coins, p. 121. 


troduce into churches grotesque figures of animals and men. These 
were denounced by St. Bernard in the 12th century, and specified 
as unclean apes, fierce lions, and monstrous centaurs. 

* * * Though the same symbols are found throughout the 
monuments, yet the same arrangement is almost never repeated, so 
that as a family shield is assumed by those descended from the main 
house with a difference sufficient to denote their cadency, so these 
monuments may have represented degrees in tribal rank and official 
dignity, by difference of adjustment, slight indeed, but quite intel- 
ligible in the time when they were erected. 

* * * The similarity of many of the stone monuments of 
India to those found in Europe, and some intervening countries is 
pointed out by Col. Forbes Leslie, in his work on the " Early Eaces 
of Scotland, and their monuments." * * Professor Holmboe of 
the Eoyal University of Norway has traced a conformity between 
the monuments of Norway and India, and he infers the influence of 
Buddhism in Norway before the introduction of Christianity in his 
work " Traces de Buddhisme en Norwaye avant Tintroduction du 
Christianisme," par M. C. Holmboe, Pans, 1857. 

Dr. G. Moore, in his work on the Ancient Pillar Stones 
of Scotland^ considers the character of the symbols on 
them as Buddhistic, and states that Dr. "Wise was also 
struck with their simUarity to those he had seen in India. 
At page 82 he says ^' We discover the so-called Y and 
Z symbols together with the discs, on several Buddhistic 
coins of North-Western India : and circles within circles 
are frequently seen on the sculptured stones of Scotland." 
At page 85 he tells us ^' The V and Z symbols are seen 
on the coins of ApoUodotus who reigned in Bactria and 
over certain Arian provinces of North- Western India 
B.C. 195. They also occur on the coins of Azes B.C. 126. 
The elephant also occurs on some coins of ApoUodotus, 
and the figure of an elephant is supposed to be rudely 
carved on several of the sculptured stones." At page 84 
we are informed that — 

The double discs or chakrane is one of the symbols of the Pra- 
Pat*ha, or divine foot-print of Buddha, and is the sign of the power 
possessed by Buddha to inflict punishment on the wicked in both 
worlds. Most of the symbols on the more ancient sculptured stones 
of Scotland may be seen on one or other of the various impressions 
of Buddha's foot which represents his doctrines as taught by dif- 
ferent sects of his followers. That in the British Museum which 
was brought from Burmah, has several of the symbols which are 
carved on the sculptured stones, but the list of the symbols on the 


Siamese Pra-Pat'ha is somewhat different and more complete, the 
number of symbols amounting to 108. To recite the meaning of 
these symbols in the foot-print of Buddha forms the essential part 
of the priest's duty in his daily teachings before the worshippers of 
the temple. 

The foregoing "fresh illustrations and examples" of 
the symbols and devices of the early races of mankind 
may be fitly closed by an account of an extraordinary 
number and variety of them lately brought to light in 
Ireland. This is contained in a paper by Mr. Eugene 
Alfred Conwell, in the Transactions of the Ethnological 
Society (v. 217). These pre-historic inscriptions and 
marks, Mr. Conwell informs us, were revealed on an 
"examination of the sepulchral cairns on the Lough 
Crew Hills, co. Meath. Of these, thirty-one were par- 
tially destroyed, and had hitherto escaped all previous 
observation, and are said to surpass in point of magni- 
ficence, number, and quaint ornamentation anything of 
the kind yet discovered in Western Europe. * * Though 
the carved stones exceed 100 in number, there are not 
two the decorations on which are similar. In all, so far 
as the operations have gone, 1393 separate devices have 
been laid bare. The inscriptions on the sculptured 
chamber stones in 13 cairns in the entire range may be 
thus summarized : — 

" 406 single cup-like hollows, some arranged in parallel 
lines, some in circles, and many of them scattered in 
groups ; 86 cups each surrounded by a single circle ; 
30 by two circles ; 17 by three circles ; 4 by four cir- 
cles ; 3 by five circles ; 4 cup hollows each surrounded 
by a spiral ; 35 star-shaped figures varying from four to 
thirteen rays in each; 22 circles with rays emanating 
from each ; 14 cups, each surrounded by a circle, with 
rays emanating from each; 16 simple ovals; one figure 
of two concentric ovals ; one of six ; 114 single circles ; 
32 figures of two concentric circles ; 10 of three ; 6 of 
four ; 4 of five ; one of six ; 68 semi-elliptical or arched 
figures; 12 spirals; 14 quadrilateral figures; 6 trian- 
gular figures formed by cross-hatched lines; 54 reti- 
culated figures, consisting in all of 138 diameters ; nearly 



300 single straight lines, some of which may probably 
be Oghamic; upwards of 80 zigzag or chevron lines; 
10 single curves ; 11 figures of two concentric curves ; 
10 of three; 8 of four; 4 of five; 4 of six; 20 of 
seven; one of eight; one of nine; and two of 13 con- 
centric curves. * * There was discovered also in the 
graves a most singular and unique collection of worked 
bone implements, of which 91 were engraved in a very 
high order of art, with circles, curves, and punctured 
ornamentations, twelve of which are decorated on both 
sides ; and on one, in cross-hatched lines, is the repre- 
sentation of a stag, being the only attempt in the collec- 
tion to depict any living thing." 

The preceding remarkable figures and patterns met 
with in such abundance in one locality are not, as we 
have seen, unexampled. They resemble the marks 
found amongst the remains of widely separated peoples. 
Not only are they found in Devonshire, Cumberland, 
Northumberland, in Scotland, in Ireland, in Brittany, 
but also (see plates) in Mexico. And the labyrinth that 
occurs in various forms on the coins of Cnossus and on 
Greek and Eoman gems (p. 119) may be regarded as of 
similar meaning to the patterns forming concentric rings 
and other combinations of curved lines ; and not as 
embodying the primary and symbolical idea of a maze, 
which doubtless like many other ideas, growing out of a 
sculptured figure, was derivative and secondary. All 
the figures just referred to may be classed in the same 
category as the symbolical devices on the sculptured 
stones in Scotland, and the various figures and patterns 
impressed on the pottery of the early races of mankind. 
Thus viewing them as a whole, and justly inferring a 
significance in their meaning, we find that that meaning 
is of a decidedly heraldic character, as expressed or im- 
plied in the remarks interspersed by the eminent and 
authoritative writers whose descriptions have been 

Sir G. Wilkinson (pp. 118, 119) describing these 
patterns as existing in various parts of the United King- 
dom and Brittany, notices that those prevalent in one 


district are absent in another, that in this respect "the 
monuments of the North diflter from those of Devonshire 
and Cornwall"; that this was owing to "diflterent 
tribes " and that those who lived in the south " had the 
custom of engraving stones with various devices." Mr. 
Birch (p. 122) speaking of the ornaments on the pottery 
of the Celtic and other races says that they " diflter, each 
tribe and age probably adopting a different style"; and 
again (p. 123) "each tribe or family use a separate 
type of shape and ornamentation." Mr. Stuart (p. 127) 
speaking of the Sculptured Stones of Scotland, says " on 
no two stones is the arrangement the same, which seems 
to imply a meaning and intent in the arrangement of 
them." Some of them he says "may perhaps be held* 
to be of the nature of personal symbols." And (p. 
128) he remarks " though the same symbols are found 
throughout the monuments, yet the same arrangement 
is almost never repeated," and suggests that they "may 
have represented degrees in tribal rank and ofl&cial 

Were these writers possessed of the whole of the facts, 
and cognizant of the arguments employed in this work, 
they would perhaps have had little hesitation in at once 
concluding that all these various figures so systemati- 
cally employed, and used not by all races alike, but 
some by one and others by others, were the primordial 
devices and patterns originally adopted by the primseval 
races of men to distinguish one tribe from another ; and 
were the elements, in combination with emblems derived 
from the animal kingdom, that successive ages developed 
into the vast and multifarious assemblage of forms and 
figures, that even in the early periods of the history of 
Mail constituted a systematic and hereditary Heraldry. 

As observed at page 17, many of the above mentioned 
patterns strikingly resemble the Tatoo forms punctured 
on their bodies by the South Sea Islanders and others of 
modem times. This practice of tatooing, according to the 
testimonies produced at page 18, seems to have been 
general with the barbarian tribes of early historical 
periods; and though we are told that "all sorts of ani- 

K 2 


mals" were marked on their bodies, there can be no doubt 
that such patterns and figures as are found on modem 
savages, were also such as distinguished their primseval 
ancestors. In modern times we find the same diversity 
of figures as in ancient periods ; and a similar ethnogra- 
phical variety of usage.* 

It is conceivable that in an early stage of civilization, 

* The following information concerning Tatooing is from Picker- 
ing's Baces of Men : — 

The Western Paumotuans of the Malay race exhibit the chequered 
pattern of tatooing, which seems peculiar to them. 

In New Zealand, Tatooing is incised, and is a much more painful 

operation than in the rest of Polynesia. The quantity of markings 

about the face seems to be very much in proportion to the rank of 

• the individual, each chief however having some variation in the pattern 

(p. 77). 

In the Hawaiian Islands the natives are unable to form any 
conjectures as to the origin or object of the practice of tatooing. 
Formerly the body was much more covered with these markings 
than at present, one side often being completely blackened, and to a 
certain extent it would have been possible to designate individuals 
by the copy of the pattern (p. 89). 

Amongst the Sacramento tribes, most of the men had some slight 
marks of tatooing on the breast, disposed like a necklace. The 
presence of the custom amongst the Malay Americans should be 
noted in considering the origin of the slight tatooing found occasion- 
ally among the Chinooks, and the more northern tribes, even it is 
said to the vicinity of Behring Straits (p. 105). 

Neither in the Banshee islands, nor in any other part of the East 
Indies were seen the slightest marks of tatooing (p. 120). 

In regard to the Fiji islanders, the seeming absence of tatooing 
was at first attributed to the circumstance that the Feejee complexion 
is too dark to show the markings conspicuously. It appeared how- 
ever that the women have the practice, and cover the markings by the 
dress. Ornament and national designation are in this case out of 
the question, and the reasons assigned by the Fijeans are probably 
not more reliable than their tales respecting circumcision and the 
removal of a finger joint. Tatooing occurs among the modem Arabs, 
derived apparently from certain notions of antiquity; and there seems 
every probability that the custom originated with a light-coloured 
race. In many instances, the women were further marked on the 
arms, and upper part of the breast with elevated scars, such as have 
been observed to replace tatooing in other countries where the com- 
plexion is very dark. These scars had sometimes the form of stars 
or of concentric circles (p. 150). 

In Pritchard's Natural History of Man, are engraved portraits of 
Mozambique Cafirs, one of whom has a star on his face and breast ; 
and another a star with pellets on his forehead and cheeks. 


or rather in a semi-barbarous state, the practice of tatoo- 
ing arose from the necessity of establishing some mode of 
individual identity amongst strangers, and as a visible 
guarantee of immunity and privilege. Before any variety 
of costume was obtainable beyond the clothing aflforded 
by the skins of wild beasts and fabrics of a rude texture, 
and personal ornaments of a valuable kind were unknown, 
some proof of belonging to a particular tribe was desirable 
beyond what personal knowledge and recognition could 
furnish, and in the absence of those appliances of civiliza- 
tion which establish individual identity. We have seen 
in the note to page 18 that slaves were not marked with 
the tatoo. 

One striking peculiarity in all ancient ornamentation 
and heraldic forms, is the rare occurrence of the heraldic 
chequy pattern. As this is one of the simplest, most 
obvious, and easily executed of all patterns, its rarity 
aflfords a strong negative argument against the indepen- 
dent origin in diflterent countries of heraldry and ornamen- 
tation generally ; and therefore a powerful presumption in 
favour of the hereditary transmission of heraldic devices 
from the earliest periods. 

The " modes of transmission of Heraldic symbols from 
ancient to modern times" appear to have been these 
three : — 

1 . By Inheritance, as in the case of Heads of Tribes, 
Clans and Families, and Individual Persons. 

2. By Succession, as in the case of Empires, Kingdoms 
and States ; and Corporate Bodies. 

3. By Adoption, as in the case of taking the device of 
a vanquished foe, or appropriating the symbols on the 
coinage of another people.* 

* The modes of acquiring heraldic insignia in England during the 
early centuries since the Conquest I have stated in an article on 
" Fanciful and Imaginary Armoij " in the Herald and Genealogist 
for January 1868 (pp. 51-61). These it will be appropriate to re- 
produce here, with some of the accompanying remarks : — 

Although fanciful armory may have been in use from the Conquest 
to the present time in the way mentioned [viz. on the Bay eux tapestry, 
some ecclesiastical vestment work, enamelled dishes and vessels, re- 


I. The hereditary transmission of heraldic devices 
amongst the ancients is almost without exception disputed 

presentations of the murder of Thomas a Becket, etc.] yet it is not 
difficult, without any examples, and a priori, to affirm that it could 
not have been employed on seals, in churches, on tombs, or in any 
way where an individual or a family wished to display a personal 
permanent distinctive device. The rolls of arms of the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries amply testify to the existence of strict rules 
in the formation of coats of arms. Colour was not placed on colour, 
nor metal on metal. " Differencing " was made according to pre- 
scribed methods. The same symmetry and harmony were observed 
in the composition of a new coat, as in the equally infinite combina- 
tions made in the tracery of a church window. The same severe taste 
prevailed in heraldry as in architecture. A code of laws unwritten, 
or not come down to us (except partially in the Boke of St. Albans 
and subsequent authors) must have long regulated the practice of the 
art amongst its professors the Heralds. These we nave evidence 
exercised their functions as early as Edward the third, if not earlier ; 
and though few of their grants of arms remain, we may fairly presume 
that they controlled and regulated the use of coat-armour, recorded 
existing bearings, were the authority for the issue of new ones, and 
denounced usurpations and irregularities. In proof of this, the well 
known roll of Edward the second may be cited. This contains eleven 
hundred coats of knights all over England ; yet in it there are not 
half a dozen repetitions; It is true, in the Scrope and Q-rosvenor 
controversy, it came out in evidence that three families, Scrope, 
G-rosvenor, and Carminow, each bore Azure a bend or ; but this only 
shows an instance of families living wide apart having inadvertently 
omitted some original difference that had distinguished their respective 
coats. But that this identity of bearing was exceptional, and contrary 
to rule, the roll of the Siege of Caerlaverock strikingly confirms, where 
it is said that Brian Eitz- Alan and Hugh Pointz both bore, Barry or 
and gules, "neither more nor less, at which ma/ny marvelled, men and 
women.** (H. and G. ii. 383.) 

Eli portoit ne plus ne meins 

Dont merveille avoit meinte e meins. 

And that a coat of arms was special property, and like a modem 
patent or trade-mark, if imitated or appropriated, furnished cause for 
proceedings before an authoritative tribunal, we have not only the 
evidence of the contest between Scrope and Q-rosvenor, but that of 
the Q-rey and Hastings controversy, and the proceedings of Lord 
Level against Morley. {Vide H. and G-. ii. 1.) We have moreover, 
in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, cases of alienation by deed 
of their arms by one person to another, and grants by barons to their 
tenants of their own bearings, with modifications. 

All this shows that during the periods in question, the reigns of 
Edward III. and Richard II. at least, the usurpation of armorial 
bearings was punishable, and therefore a rare and exceptional act. 

# # # # # s # 


by writers on the subject ; and there is almost the same 
unanimity in the opinion that that characteristic was not 
co-eval with the first introduction or appearance of armorial 
insignia in mediaeval times, but only commenced two or 

That armorial seals were used at "second-hand" is well known, 
but that they were so used arbitrarily, remains to be proved; and as 
I have shown is improbable. Whether used on a seal, on the battle- 
field, or at a tournament, armorial bearings were family and personal 
devices of a distinctive character. An indiscriminate or unregulated 
use would defeat their purpose, and frustrate their utility. When 
the evidence of the execution of a deed was not a man's hand- writing, 
but the attestation of a seal, it would be essential that the latter 
should be known to be his, either from hereditary or acquired right, 
or if another's, should be used with authority, and this just as much 
and in an analogous sense as a man's signature at the present day. 
When therefore we find that a particular coat of arms (it must be 
remembered that seals do not supply the tinctures) was used in a 
district by different persons, bearing always in mind the punishment 
impending on an unlawful appropriation, it behoves us much rather 
to seek for the cases in which this plurality of usage was allowed, 
than by foregoing such an examination to come to the hasty con- 
clusion that such usage was " arbitrary." 

To assist in this inquiry, the modes of acquiring heraldic insignia 
must be stated. These seem to have been chiefly — 

1. Immemorial usage and inheritance. 

2. Q-rant or concession from the sovereign or a herald. 

3. Concession or alienation by deed or will of a private person's 
arms wholly or partially to another. 

4. Marriage of a heiress or elder co-heiress. 

5. Tenure of office, royal, baronial, knightly and ecclesiastical. 

G. Purchase or acquisition of a dignity, barony or manor, to which 
armorial bearings were appurtenant. 

This classification does not include the cases where arms were used 
on seals " at second-hand ; " for I apprehend such usage was only 
occasional, temporary, and provisional, though tolerated, and within 
certain limits regular. Many seals on the death of their owners must 
have fallen into the hands of representatives by marriage, and col- 
lateral descendants ; these would be utilized by such persons, as at 
the present day, and where no near neighbour's rights could be in- 
vaded, would be as well understood to be peculiar to the person using 
them as a signature now. Impaled coats of others were so used even 
by persons having ancestral arms. But were such coats permanently 
appropriated by parties not deriving them from any of the specified 
six sources ? Did they have new matrices made with the legend 
Siyilltim, etc. ? Did they exhibit them on tombs, church windows, 
aaid in their halls, where they would be exposed to constant observa- 
tion and criticism ? That such cases occurred is not shown ; that 
they did not we may confidently affirm from the whole spirit and tone 
of Heraldic practice as heretofore instanced. 


three generations subsequently. Empirical knowledge 
in both eases seems to have been the foundation of this 
opinion. All our knowledge of what were the heraldic 
devices of the ancient Greeks as regards authors, is got 
from Homer, .iEschylus, and Euripides ; and as respects 
monuments, from sepulchral vases. The arguments which 
these sources of information appear to furnish against 
hereditary usage, have been noticed and answered in 
chapter lY. and therefore need not be here repeated. 
The information we obtain as to the character of ancient 
Eoman Heraldry has been partially considered in the same 
chapter, and will be more particularly dwelt upon pre- 
sently. The hereditary character and origin of mediaeval 
heraldry will be discussed at large in a subsequent chapter. 
We will proceed then to make some general observations 
on the subject, primarily of a theoretical nature. 

Every heraldic writer admits that military chieftains 
have in all times inscribed on their banners and their 
shields some appropriate device, either as a personal 
distinction, or as typifying some quality, and to serve 
the purposes of recognition and identity.* As these 
equipments of warfare (shields and banners) are its per- 
manently essential constituents — at least the latter, and 
the former till modern times, — it is obvious that any 
devices inscribed on them should have some permanent 
character, or a frequent change would frustrate the pur- 
pose of recognition and identity : 

* It is quite evident that painted shields and military ensigns of 
some sort are coeval with the art of war itself. — Art. " Heraldry " 
in Brewster's Edinburgh Gyclopadia. 

It is an indisputable fact that in all ages of the world, and 
amongst all races of men, some form of symbolical expression has 
been both in use and in favour. And it is equally true that this 
symbolism, whatever it may have been, has generally been found in 
some way associated with a military life and with the art of warfare. 
Soldiers and particularly those m high command have always 
delighted to adorn their shields with devices, that sometimes were 
significant of their own condition and exploits, or sometimes had 
reference to their country or even to their families ; and in like 
manner it has been a universal custom to display similar devices 
and §gures in military standards of all kinds. — Boutell*s English 


ut conspicuum in praelio 

Haberent signum quod sequerentur milites.* 

We have a practical illustration of the important pur- 
pose that fixed heraldic devices serve amongst the North 
American Indians. Mr. Schoolcraft in his laborious and 
magnificent work on the Indian Tribes (i. 420) says 
" The Totem is employed as the evidence of the identity 
of the family and of the clan. The totem is in fact a 
device corresponding to the heraldic bearings of civilized 
nations, which each person is authorized to bear as the 
evidence of his family identity. * * iVb person is per- 
mitted to change or alter his totem ; and such change is 
absolutely unknown amongst them." 

There is besides another strong motive against a tem- 
porary use of a symbol and against altering it: an 
emblem that has witnessed a victory, that has been 
triumphant on many a battle field, that has never suc- 
cumbed to defeat or capture, becomes a cherished and 
honoured ensign ; and like an illustrious name is handed 
down as symbolical of renown. These considerations 
are so natural, and prevail so generally in all such 
matters, that it is marvellous they should have so little 
weight with writers on the subject. What confusion 
would be caused if our maritime flags were constantly 
changed! Even the '^colours" of the owners of race- 
horses are individual and permanent, and recorded in the 
pages of the Racing Calendar! Moreover, ^'the mer- 
chant's marks" of former times, before writing was 
general, and the "trade -mark" of the present day are 
unalterable; and an infringement of the latter is jea- 
lously watched, and guarded by legal prohibition. 

Let us inquire then if so sensible, so obviously natural 
a theory is not verified by facts. 

The first mention that we have of heraldic emblems, 
expressly notices their hereditary nature. The Bible 
tells us (Numbers ii. 2) " Every man shall pitch by his 
own standard with the ensign (^ his father s house?'^ We 
have seen (p. 33) that Euripides states that Parthe- 
nopaeus bore on his shield a ^^ family device ^ Mr. King 

* Phaedrus, Fab. iii. 


in his Handbook of Gems (p. 216) says tlmt " the devices 
on the signets of the ancients were both hereditary and 
unalterable, like our armorial bearings." Ovid in the 
7th book of the Metamorphoses speaks of the sifftia sui 
generis on the hilt of the sword of Theseus. Virgil 
mentions the insigne paternum on the shield of Aventinus 
(^neid vii. 657). Corvinus in the poem of Silius exhibits 
on his helmet a crow. To show that this was an here- 
ditary bearing, it is described as ostentans alas proavHee 
insignia pvgnce. The following passage from Suetonius 
oflters unquestionable testimony to the existence of here- 
ditary family devices among the Eomans: — Vetera f ami- 
liarum insignia^ says the historian, speaking of Caligula, 
nobilissimo cuique ademit ; Torquoio torqtietn; Cincinnafo 
crinem Cn. Pompeto, stirpis antiqua, magni cognomen. 
The persons mentioned were probably the heads of the 
several families, who alone were accustomed to wear 
these ensigns, and therefore alone could lose them. 
Cognomina^ too, were well known to have been here- 
ditary. The letter which Cicero opened during the 
Catilinarian conspiracy was sealed with the head of his 
grandfather. Dio records that the head of Augustus 
engraved by Dioscorides was the signet used by his 
successors, until Galba substituted for it his own family 
device. (King) 

If we explore the peninsula of Hindoostan, we shall 
find the hereditary principle maintained in their devices 
by the people of that country. A deed is engraved on 
a plate of copper with ih^ figure of a loar^ the distinctive 
symbol or seal of the Chalukyas family, the oldest race 
in the records of the Dekhan, which device was subse- 
quently adopted by the Kings of Vijayanagar. The date 
of this plate is 609 a.d. Lands are still on similar 
metallic deeds granted by them bearing the same effigy on 
the seal. {Vidis p. 10, and in the preceding pages will be 
found mention of the devices of the various tribes of 
Eajahstan, mentioned in Colonel Tod's work, who states 
that the feudal system prevailed in that country, and 
that the various races or clans had all their heraldic 
bearings from time immemorial.) 


It is true, when we find mention made in ancient 
writers of personal or family devices, we are not always 
told if they were hereditary ; but casual indications and 
incidental allusions as these are, are necessarily deficient 
in information such as we should like to have ; and so 
are they in literature written at a time when heraldic 
devices were in England hereditary, as will be seen here- 
after. Indeed in the well known poem of the Siege of 
Caerlaverock, a.d. 1300, which describes the arms of 
the warriors there present, their coat-armour, their 
characters, and many heraldic peculiarities, no mention 
is made at all of any of the coats being hereditary ; but 
we know that they were at that time, for in many in- 
stances we can prove it, from seals and earlier rolls of 
arms. On the other hand, we find in the Leyes HastUu- 
dialea of the Emperor Henry the Fowler, in the 10 th 
century (which will be given hereafter) that were made 
to regulate Tournaments, that the disputants were to 
show their right to insignia gentilitia for four genera- 
tions, probably the origin of the seize quartiers of the 

II. The permanent succession of national emblems is 
so clearly ascertained that it has never been one of the 
disputed points in any treatise on Heraldry. Even new 
political confederacies or new dynasties have taken care 
to observe the principle of permanency and individuality 
or recognition of former insignia* The flag of the 
United States of America was adopted from the armorial 
bearings of Washington their foimder. The United 
Provinces of the Netherlands on their independence 
devised for their standard the appropriate device of the 
national lion of Flanders, borne by the Counts from the 
11th century, grasping in his paw 7 arrows, to denote 
the seven provinces; whilst Belgium on becoming a 
nation retained the lion alone. Napoleon the first 
adopted the Eagle, because he regarded Charlemagne as 
his predecessor, who used that emblem as successor to the 
Roman Emperors of the West. The crosses of St. George, 
St. Edmund, and St. Edward appear on the seals of the 


Plantagenet Kings of England. The white horse of 
Horsa has been the ensign of the county of Kent from 
the fifth century to the present day. The dragon of 
the Saxons was used by the Norman monarchs of Eng- 
land. Henry the third displayed it at the Battle of 
Lewes, 1265. Many of the armorial bearings of Earls 
and Barons were considered appurtenant to their Earl- 
doms or Baronies, and were borne by their successors 
though of different families. The arms of Bishopricks, 
Monasteries, Guilds, and other corporate bodies, are in- 
stances of the succession of heraldic insignia as distin- 
guished from inheritance. 

The cohort-ensigns of the Eoman armies forms an 
analogous case to the ^^ colours" of our own regiments 
since the period of Henry VIII. or perhaps somewhat 
later, when the feudal practice of leading his followers 
to battle by the Baron or Knight, under lus own banner, 
seems to have been discontinued. A remarkable in- 
stance of the continued and successive use of an heraldic 
device, originally probably of a religious import, (see p. 
13) is seen in the Cinqfoil, which is found apparently 
as a sacred ornament on the dress of the Assyrian 
Monarchs, is met with on the robes of consuls in the 
6th century, occurs on the mantles of the Carlovingian 
Kings, and is found on the consecrated banner presented 
by the Pope to Charlemagne. The fleur de lis and the 
dove as variously displayed, were also borne with a tra- 
ditional symbolism, from the time of the Assyrians. 

III. The practice of adoption or appropriation of the 
weapons, banners and insignia of a vanquished enemy, 
or of some usage of a superior race, is founded on an 
instinct of human nature. The victorious Indian scalps 
his antagonist, and his skull is proudly exhibited as a 
trophy or an ornament. The principle is thus noticed by 
Virgil, j^neid (ii. 388-93), where Coroebus says : — 

Mutemus clypeos, Danaumque insignia nobis 

AptemuB : 

. . Sic fatus, deinde comantem 

Androgei galeam, clypeique insigne decorum, 

InduitwTy laterique Argivum accommodat ensem. 


We have seen (p. 45) that the ancient Eomans bore at 
diflferent periods for their national ensign the Eagle, the 
Wolf, the Minotaur, the Horse, and the Wild Boar. 
Probably the wolf, for various reasons that have been 
noticed, was their first emblem. The eagle, though not 
apparently the latest taken, was the eventual chief and 
permanent Imperial ensign. No device seems generally 
to have been held in such high estimation as symbolizing 
dominion as the King of Birds ;* but evidently not as 
an independent selection, for abstract reasons, but as the 
appropriated emblem of some vanquished enemy, or of 
some incorporated kingdom. 

The coins of one people were often appropriated by 
another (see p. 12). For two centuries after the Eomans 
quitted England, the Saxons made use of their coins, 
and appear to have had no mintage of their own ; and 
afterwards adopted some of their devices, as the Wolf 
and Twins, the Pegasus, etc. The sitting figure of 
Britannia with a shield by her side on the copper coinage 
of the present day, is almost a fac-simile of coins of 
Claudius and Antoninus Pius. 

If then the transmission of Heraldic devices from 

the earliest times has been by Inheritance, Succession, 
and Adoption, there is no room left for the idea that 
any particular class or system of devices has been tem- 
porarily prevalent in any age or country, has fallen into 
disuse, and a new set at a subsequent period been de- 
vised ; nor that some warriors adopted them and others 
did not, and that the fashion prevailed at one time and 
not at another, in one warlike country and not in all. 
We observe throughout, the Great Law of Continuity. 

* Eagle ensigns were constantly the companions of the Dragons. 
"We meet with them in China, India, Bactria, Persia, Egypt, amongst 
the successors of Alexander, the Eomans and the CeltsB. The 
Arabs had the eagle carved, made of metal, and its skin stuffed and 
set up as if living. A black Eagle was the ensign of Kalid, Ma- 
homet's General, at the battle of Aisnadin ; and the carved Eagle 
is still seen on the walls of the citadel of Cairo, set up by Kara- 
Koosh, vizier of Salah-ed-Deen. — Kitto*s Cyclopaedia of Biblical 


The oldest patterns, as chequy, lozengy, etc., are such as 
are in use almost all over Europe at the present day ; 
as are most of the emblems derived from the animal 
kingdom, formerly borne in India, in Greece, and Rome. 
If we inspect the plates giving the cohort-ensigns from 
the Notitia Imperii^ and Trajan^s Column, we find, it is 
true, the absence in European Heraldry, of many of their 
identical combinations and figures ; such, like the legions 
who bore them, have perished, or a few of them may 
have been adopted by mediaeval chiefs, probably novi 
homines;''^ but on the other hand, the parti-coloured 
shields and others, bearing animals and birds, borne alike 
by the Teutonic and Gallic chieftains, and the oldest 
European houses, have taken their place; because the 
latter were descended from the former, who themselves 
became the Dukes and Counts of the various provinces 
constituting the disrupted Roman Empire. In Uke 
manner, the lion and other bearings of the Anglo-Norman 
nobles supplanted the diflferent devices borne by the 
subjugated Saxon thanes. So in Language, words of one 
race have been superseded by the words of an invading 
people, and are now only to be found in remote places 
and comers ; and like ^ome words, some heraldic figures 
have altered their form, by entering into new combina- 
tions. And, as in language the names of common objects 
have preserved their identity through all time and 
pervade all tongues, so the patterns and symbols found 
on the earliest memorials of mankind, their cromlechs and 
sepulchral pottery, viz. geometrical figures, the crescent, 
the roundel, the chevron, dancette, and various scroll and 
fret-patterns, f are found in the ornamentation and heraldry 
of almost every age and country. 

* Strikingly resembling patterns to some of the more peculiar 
eoliort-ensigns are found in the plates of Spener, and other Q-erman 
authors on Heraldry. 

t Some of these are found in European arms of the present day 
or of two centuries since. Specimens will be found in Spener and 
other German authors. The whirlpool borne as a coat of arms by 
the family of Q-orges in the 13th century (p. 115) is an exact 
resemblance to some of the patterns on the Irish and other crom- 
lechs, and may have been inherited through ages from the tribes who 


A distinctive banner is an essential constituent of a 
feudal or tribal system of society. It is a rallying sign 
to the vassals of a baron, and the members of a tribe or 
clan. These systems are antagonistic to the municipal 
system of the Roman empire, for example, and are neces- 
sarily discouraged in an imperial policy which seeks to ex- 
tinguish or amalgamate all independent authority, and 
to make the state the centre and source of all power. 
Accordingly, the cohort-devices of the Roman Empire 
could not harmoniously have co-existed with such a 
display of family ensigns by the chiefs of patrician 
families as were made by the great barons of the mid- 
dle ages ; and it is probable that the modes of their use 
were subject to regulations and restrictions. There can 
be no doubt that the 3000 independent princes and nobles 
of the ancient Chinese Empire mentioned at p. 248 had 
each his heraldic ensign ; these in like maimer it may be 
conceived would be discontinued, or confined to sub- 
ordinate uses, on the abolition of an hereditary aristocracy; 
and as we have seen (p. 1 5) a system of personal distinc- 
tions for the diflferent orders and fimctionaries of the 
state now prevails in that country, apparently something 
like the diflferent degrees of the Legion of Honour in 
France. The disuse of heraldic insignia amongst the 
nations professing the Mahometan faith is intelligible, as 
that religion disallows pictorial display of animate objects. 

The hereditary transmission of heraldic devices im- 
plies a regulated and systematic use, as opposed to 
capricious assumption, and the indiscriminate and vari- 
able use of emblems. The figures on cromlechs, the 
symbols on the sculptured stones of Scotland, the 
patterns and devices on early pottery, and the totems 
and tatoo marks of savages, we have seen were not 
common alike to all races — were not arbitrary, but strictly 
confined each to particular tribes, and systematically 
varied and arranged. 

bore it. There is an ancient British bronze shield in the British 
Museum whose surface is covered with concentric rings, alternately 
with rows of roundels. This was probably the heraldic pattern of 
some chieftain. 


The plates of this work which exhibit the heraldic 
tablets and shields and banners of the Ancient Mexicans 
as found sculptured on their stone monuments, or depicted 
in their pictorial state annals, display a remarkable variety 
of arrangement of the few symbols and patterns which 
constituted the elements of their Heraldry. 

That there was systematic arrangement in the cohort- 
devices of the Eoman legions, a glance at the engravings 
in the works of Montfaucon and Pancirollus, and 
at the specimens in the plates of this volume, will at 
once discover; and they are moreover described in detaU 
(or to speak heraldically, blazoned) in the ample pages of 
the Notitia Imperii. 

The great majority of the devices on the shields of 
Greek Warriors, as depicted on vases, are derived from 
the animal kingdom, and display a single serpent, Uon, 
bull, etc. ; but we find also (as on Greek coins) to use 
heraldic language, a demi-lion, a demi-goat, a horse's 
head couped, etc., and two dolphins, two lions, etc. 

These resemblances alone to the modem system ex- 
hibit a spirit of arrangement and classification ; but when 
we find out of the same elements that enter into modem 
armory, viz. the annulet, roundel, and crescent, combi- 
nations are made of precisely the same character, and 
equally varied, as we see on the triangular shields of 
Anglo-Norman barons and knights (see plates), nothing 
but the most wilful prejudice, and the blindest pedantry 
can stand in the way of recognizing in ancient Greek 
heraldry as complete a system of its kind as prevailed in 
the 13th century, throughout England and the Conti- 

* The important inquiry involved in this chapter of the " Unity 
or Diversity of the Ongin of Heraldic Devices, and of Ornamen- 
tation," will be discussed in a chapter with this title in the Ap- 




Mr. King in his Hand-Book of GemSj (p. 216) in the 
following remarks considers the cohort devices mentioned 
in Chapter IV., as constituting the foundation on which 
arose the system of European Mediaeval Heraldry : — 

" Under the Roman Empire, when all the usages of war had be- 
come fixed, and regulated by invariable and minute laws, military 
cognizances were also subjected to the strictest prescription. The 
distinguishing of the several legions by the devices painted on their 
shields is alluded to by Tacitus and by Ammian, and what is more, 
that invaluable picture of the Lower Empire in the 6th century, 
the Nbiitia Imperii, preserves the actual designs (many of them 
perfectly heraldic) which distinguished not merely the legions, but 
their component cohorts or companies from each other. Curiously 
enough the figures on the shields of William the Norman's knights, 
as depicted on the Bayeux tapestry, are simple, and single dragons 
or circles variously disposed, presenting a very marked analogy in 
their nature to the cohort-shields : indeed it was no more than pro- 
bable that such distinctions should have survived the Pranks and 
G-auls, who from Constantine's age downwards had constituted al- 
most exclusively the material of the Eoman armies, and who natu- 
rally on founding nationalities for themselves preserved many of 
the institutions of the school in which they had been trained. And 
what corroborates this theory is the remark of Procopius that the 
Armoricans long after the establishment of the Merovingian dynasty 
in Gaul continued to be distinguished from their neighbours by 
their Eoman arms and military discipline;" 

This is a very plausible theory, but true only if at all 
in a very partial degree, 1. It does not account for the 
presence of a large element in European blazonry, viz. 
parti-coloured shields, including what are technically 
called " ordinaries," which are altogether wanting in the 



heraldry of the Eoman armies. Nor, 2. does it explain the 
great prevalence of the lion in European armory, almost 
entirely absent on the Roman shields. And 3. a large 
proportion of the peculiar devices of these latter, as the 
thunderbolt, wreath, and nameless forms, are not met 
with in mediaeval coats of arms. 

The Dukes and Counts who on the dissolution of the 
Empire of the West erected the territories they governed 
into little principalities, might undoubtedly many of 
them adopt as their ensign the time-honoured device 
of a defunct Roman legion, and their Yiscounts might 
make a similar appropriation with some modification, 
whilst lesser dignitaries it may be conceived would fol- 
low the custom by assuming the emblems of a disbanded 
cohort. Such a practice would certainly explain the 
community of many symbols in Roman and mediaeval 
heraldry. But although it most probably prevailed to a 
limited extent, and in certain cases, yet there are other 
more obvious and probable sources for the derivation of 
the charges of European heraldry. 

Tacitus (De Mor. Ger. vi.) speaking of the Germans 
says Scuta tantum lectissimis coloribus distinguunL. The 
word tantum here excludes those symbols and more sig- 
nificant devices which we have seen are met with on the 
Roman shields. And the " chosen colours " would con- 
sequently be a correct description of those parti-coloured 
patterns, which are the most ancient as well as the most 
prevalent forms of mediaeval blazonry. And Diodor u s Si- 
culus mentioning the Gauls uses this language. ^' Their 
garments," he says " are very strange, for they wear 
parti'Coloured coats, interwoven here and there with di- 
vers sorts of fiowers [? diapering] * * Their defen- 
sive arms are a shield garnished with their own ensigns. 
Some carry the shape of beasts in brass as well for de- 
fence as ornament ; upon their heads they wear helmets 
of brass, and the shapes of birds and beasts carved upon 

* Translation by Booth : London, fol. 1700, p. 188. Mr. King, 
the author of Antique Qems, in a paper in the ArchtBological Journal 
(vol. 23) on the signet of Q. Cornelius Lupus [before referred to 



We here find that the people of a considerable portion 
of Europe long before the extinction of the Koman 
power, and probably of immemorial inheritance had 
'' their own ensigns." And when we consider the great 
probability that all the nations and tribes who overran 
the Eoman empire had likewise their own especial and 
hereditary emblems, which in the spirit of ancestral re- 
verence they would sacredly cherish, we can be at no 
loss in fixing the sources whence were derived the prin- 
cipal bearings found in European coats of arms in the 
twelfth and succeeding centuries. 

The direct evidence for their existence however in the 
early centuries of the Christian era it must be admitted 
is entirely wanting. But this need excite no surprise. 
Professor Westwood in an article on consular diptychs* 
thus describes the extreme scarcity of monumental re- 
mains of any kind at this period : 

" These objects [diptychs] formed almost the only links in the 
history of art from the decline of the Eoman Empire till the reign 

p. 48] has these remarks : " The peculiar fashion of the shields upon 
our gems remarkably illustrates the description given by Diodorus 
Siculus, of that portion of their defensive armour. Julius Caesar 
has strangely enough omitted all mention of the arms or costume of 
his Gallic adversaries : he probably considered them too well known 
to his Eoman readers to require any further notice in the sketch he 
gives of their institutions. But Diodorus, writing a few years later, 
and in Greek for the world at large, has fortunately to gratify the 
curiosity of those more remote, gone into the minutest particulars 
of the subject. He says [as Mr. King renders it] : They wear a 
curious kind of dress, dyed tunics ornamented with colours of 
every possible sort, and trowsers, or as they themselves call them 
hracca. Over them they wear, fastened by a fibula, large striped 
mantles (sa^i) of a shaggy stuff in winter, of a smooth in sum- 
mer, chequered aU over in squares, of many colours set close to- 
gether. For armour, they use shields as tall as the man, and painted 
over after a peculiar fashion. Some of these shields haye^fftires of 
animals, in relief, of bronze, not merely for ornament, but also for 
defence, and very well wrought. They wear bronze helmets, having 
lofty projections, rising out of them, and which impart a gigantic 
appearance to the wearers ; for upon some are fixed pairs of horns 
united, upon others, the heads of birds or of beasts, forged out of the 
same metal.'' 

* Gentleman's Magazine, July 1863. 



of Charlemagne. The remains of Stone Art, such as buildings, 
sculpture, &c. were almost entirely if not quite wanting during this 
period. Painted glass and the paintings of MSS. were also quite 
unknown during this period, and it was only in the Catacombs that 
wall paintings entirely of a religious character supplied an evidence 
of the practice of the pictorial art." 

On the statues of the Merovingian and Carlovingian 
kings at St. Denis, figured in Montfaucon's great work, 
Monumens de la Monarchie Franqaise^ we find the cinqfoil 
embroidered on their robes, and also in the co-eval repre- 
sentation in mosaic work, of Charlemagne being presented 
with a banner by the Pope. This banner is in heraldic 
language semee of cinqfoils, so that the cinqfoil as an 
heraldic ensign seems for some generations to have been 
of royal and imperial usage. An eagle was engraved on 
the hilt of the sword of Charlemagne (La Barte, Hand 
Book of the Arts, p. 114). 

And as regards books and MSS. Mr. Hallam remarks, 
" Nothing can be scantier than our historical materials " 
at this period. 

In the poem of Abbon (book i. v. 19) who was a monk 
of the abbey of St. Germain des Pr^s, and an eye wit- 
ness of the siege of Paris at the end of the 9th century, 
occurs this line — 

Saxa fremunt parmas [scuta] quatientia^tc^o*.* 

But it is not till the 9th and 10th centuries, that we 
meet with any satisfactory allusions to the practice of 
painting or inscribing devices on the shields of warriors. 
But, first, the Literature of the early mediaeval period, or 
rather what has come down to us, as before intimated, is 
comparatively insignificant in amount and character ; 
and, 2ndly, silence on the subject in what remains and 
fragments we possess, is no argument, necessarily, in fa- 
vour of its non-existence. In our own day, the display 
of blazonry is greater, more general, and more multi- 
farious than probably at any period of its history : and 
yet in our abundant and minute literature heraldic allu- 

* Pautet — Nbuvel Mantiel du Blcuon, Paris, 12mo. 1843, p. 49, 


sions are extremely rare. A biographical notice of a 
deceased peer in the Times never gives his armorial bear- 
ings ; we should as readily expect to find the colour of 
his hair or his stature noticed as the blazon of his coat- 
armour. In history, poetry, and works of fiction, the 
subject is rarely mentioned, and only in general terms. A 
character in a novel may be most minutely pourtrayed ; 
but no novelist thinks of telling us what device he uses 
on his note paper, or what crest he displays on his car- 
riage. If then, in the mass of writing daily issued by 
the press, describing manners and customs and passing 
events, these subjects are rarely met with, why should 
we expect any or more than occasional allusions in our 
fi-agmentary mediaeval literature ? 

But fortunately when we come down to the 10th cen- 
tury, we have in the Leges Ilastiludiales of Henry the 
Fowler, the most express mention of the practice of 
hereditary heraldic hearings^ not as an incidental allu- 
sion, but a specific and distinct regulation concerning 

" Henrici Imp. Aug. Statuta et Privilegia ludorum equestrium sive 
Hastiludiorum, anno Christi, 938. 
IX. TJti si quia ratse nobilitatis erit qui in unum aut plures Duo- 
decim Articulorum, in ludis equestribus observandorum commiserit, 
et nihilominus cum reliquis decurrere prsesumat, pro familiae suae 
gloria: hunc Sodalitii, in quo nomen dederit, servus publicus, wd 
ex Serolti8 indicet ; ut simul insignia ejus in harensi. conspecta 
fuerint, verberibus de more mulctetur ; nisi si quis ex eadem familia 
culpam consanguinei sui purgare paratus erit ; quod Heroltus E/egi 
Circuli sub quo suceedaneus is censetur indicare tenetur ut ita cum 
priore illo mitius agatur. Similiter idem Heroltus ubi arma insignia- 
que ejus agnoverit, qui pro altero poense et decursioni se offert pro- 
clamare debet talem aut talem adjecto nomine et cognomine ejus, pro 
alio consanguineo suo cum et sub his armis poense et juri equestri 
se submittere, ut spectatores et praecipue matronse virginesque 
Aulicse pro alio cum hsBc pati et non pro se, intelligant.'** 

The 12 th article referred to here with the title at its 
head is as follows rf 

* Collectio Constitutionum Imperialium, by Goldastius, 4 vol. folio, 
Francfurt, 1713. Vol. 1 p. 211. 
t Ibid. ii. 42. 


Henrici I. Aucupis Imperatoris August! Leges Hastiludiales, sive 
de Torneamentis LatsB Gj-ottingse in Saxonia, anno Domini 


Capit XII. 
De hominibus 1 Quisquis recentioris et notae nobilis et non talis ut 
novis. J a stirpe nobilitatem suam et origine quatuor saltern 
generis auctorum proximorrim gentilitibus insignibus probare possit, is 
quoque ludis his exesto : aut si unus pluresve emendicataB hujus- 
modi nobilitatio cum iis, quibus jus est decurrendi sese permiseu- 
erint hi tales verberibus mulctentur et ubi de equo concurrerint 
septis notse causa in equitate adigantur. 

Article XIII. imposes pains and penalties for the in- 
fraction of the 12 preceding articles, and concludes with 
the alternative '' aut nobilitatis famse insiffnium gentili" 
tiorum denique amissionem incurrat."* 

In these passages we have unequivocal proofs of the 
long established usage of family ensigns or symbols ; of 
the existence of heralds to register and regulate them ; 
and evidence of their being regarded as marks of honour 
and the especial privilege of the nobly bom. The ques- 
tion now arises, were these insignia diflferent in kind 
from the heraldic bearings prevalent in the 12th century 
as well as from those borne on the shields of the Gauls 
and Germans ? That they were not of recent origin we 
have seen; that after having been a long time in use 
they should have been abandoned during the 11th cen- 
tury and resumed in the 12th, is conceivable on no 
grounds aflEbrded by analogy or experience : that in like 
manner the practice observed by the Gauls and the Ger- 
mans in the 1st century should have been discontinued 
by their immediate successors, and again taken up in the 

* In a work by George Fabricius entitled Saxonia Illustratm (fol. 
Leipsic 1607) p. 122 it is remarked of Henricus Auceps or the 
Powler : under the head " Institutio Ludorum equestrium " " Nobili- 
tatem omnem convocat et ludos equestres quales antea non fuerant 
publico celebrandos curat et instituit. * * Horum ludorum appa- 
ratum splendidissimum leges gravissimas et sanctas nomina ducum 
principum comitmn equitumque certantium libro singulari coUegit 
G-eorgius Rininerus Caduceator Maximiliani I. Imperatoris quern 
nos librum Troiaminis a primis auctoribus Trojaniis appellemus : a 
quibus* principio ad Italos postea ad Britannos inde ad Germanos 
exercitatio ilia equestris translata est ; de qua alii scripserunt pro- 
lixius, et liber est in manibus.*' 


9th century is equally inconceivable. The parti-coloured 
shields of the Germans and the tunics of the Gauls cor- 
respond precisely with the oldest European blazonry, 
viz., paly, bendy, barry, chequy, etc. Which then is the 
more probable solution of the question, — ^That the nobles 
of the 10th or of the 12th century should have de novo 
adopted such peculiar, simple, and unmeaning marks of 
distinction, or that they inherited them through succes- 
sive centuries from their German and Gallic ancestors ? 
Guizot has shown in his " Civilization in Europe ^' that 
the Roman laws, institutions, arts, manners, and cus- 
toms did not expire with the extinction of the Empire, 
but were incorporated by all the nations who succeeded 
them, and are perpetuated to the present day. Why 
then should we suppose a break of centuries in a usage 
prevalent with all warlike tribes from the earliest pe- 
riod ; if devices on banners and shields are known in de- 
tail to have prevailed in Europe from the 12th century 
downwards, why should the practice in existence at the 
Christian era have been suspended for several centuries 
and then, without any new or adequate cause, have been 
resumed ? 

Both as an independent study of great interest, and as 
supplementary and auxiliary to the preceding enquiries 
as to the evidence of the existence of armorial bearings 
in Europe from the 5th to the 11th centuries, it will be 
desirable now to produce the testimony chiefly of Anglo- 
Saxon coins in favour of the antiquity and genuineness 
of some of the reputed arms of the Heptarchy. These 
are stigmatized by recent writers on Heraldry as " ficti- 
tious arms and the inventions of the heralds." 

We wiU first notice the " White Horse of Kent." The 
horse is met with on coins of Egbert and Ethelbert as 
also on sceattas.* It appears likewise on coins of the 
Northumbrian kings. 

As the horse is also found on British com&j primd facie 
it would seem that this was an arbitrary device and had 
no reference to persons or families. Dr. Donaldson in 

* Ending, vol. iii. Plate iii. fig. 3 and 7. 


a paper on " English Ethnography " in the Cambridge 
Essays (1856) remarks : — 

The names Hengist and Horsa are two synonyms, one signifies a 
Horse in High G-erman, the other is the Anglian or Low German 
name for the same animal. * * The White Horse was the ensign 
of the invaders. The Frisians call it their Hengist, and the An- 
glians their Horsa. 

We, thus get rid of the mythical brothers, and a real 
Saxon chieftain named after the ensign of his race, or 
family occupies his undoubted though often questioned 
place in history. 

Mr. Freeman in an article on ^^ The Mythical and 
Eomantic Elements in English History " in the ForU 
nightly Review for May 1866 observes : — 

Nennius like our own chronicles confines Hengest to Kent, but 
he makes two chieftains of his house Octa and Ebissa conquer and 
settle far to the North on the confines of the Picts. In the chro- 
nicles, the accession of Ida the Angle to the Northumbrian crown 
is recorded. Ida though the founder of the subsequent Northum- 
brian kingdom was not however the first Teutonic settler in that 
part of Britain. 

These facts, if the writers are correct in their state- 
ments, would account for the occurrence of the Horse on 
the Northumbrian as well as on the Kentish Coins, and 
show the transmission of a family device from an an- 
cestor to a descendant. And the occurrence of the Horse 
on the coins of Ethelbert King of Kent, is the best con- 
firmation of the popular story of the ensign borne on 
the banner of Horsa.* 

* The baronetical Kentish family of Bering, descended from 
Bering s6n of Sired, mentioned in the Bomesday for Kent as a 
Saxon proprietor, has borne for centuries the ensign of the county 
as crest and supporters. The will of John Beryng 4 Hen. VI. is 
sealed with a saltire for arms and a horse statant on a royal crown 
for crest ; as is also a deed of Richard Bering Esq. dated 20 Edw. 
IV., whilst a seal of Sir Richard Bering, Knt. of the date of 22 
Rich. II. has for supporters two horses sejant (A.ddit. MSS. Brit. 
Mus. 6481). 

On some Sceattas of the Kentish Monarchs we find the figure of 


A raven appears on a coin of Anlaf King of North- 
umberland. This device was worked on the enchanted 
Danish standard mentioned in Asser's Life of Alfred.* 
Two ravens Mind and Memory go forth throughout the 
world ; then returning and perclung on Odin's shoulders 
reveal to him all that passes on the earth. Amulets 
have been found in Sweden and Denmark where a raven 
flies before a mounted figure of Odin.f 

The Standard of Wessex, the historians tell us, in the 
8th century was a Dragon. Now Baldwin Earl of Devon 
who died 1155 bore a Griffin on his seal. These two 
fabulous monsters according as fancy may represent them 
are sufficiently alike. Baldwin's two sons and his grand- 
son all Earls of Devon also exhibited the griffin on their 
seals. As another heraldic bearing is attributed to their 
family name De Eedvers or Eiviers, the griffin might 
not improbably have been assumed by them in their terri- 
torial capacity as Earls of Devon, and so assumed as the 
ancient ensign of the Kingdom of Wessex of which 
Devonshire formed a part. 

The arms of the South Saxons are said to have been 
gules 6 martlets or, the use of which is at present confined 
to the county of Sussex. As no coins have been found 
of the South- Saxon Kings we are unable to test their 
identity by the means which they might afford. But 
there is a collateral fact which may be thought to counte- 
nance the authenticity of these bearings. The ancient 
family of Arundel mentioned in Domesday with the 
territorial prefix cfe, bore in the 12 th century the cant- 
ing coat of 6 swallows, which they have since continued 
to use. The derivation of their name from Arundel in 
Sussex is scarcely doubtful. This was the caput Baronice 
of the greatest of the Sussex Barons, the powerful Earls 
of Montgomery and Shrewsbury. What then is more 
probable than that martlets or swallows were the county 

a swan. "We have Swanscombe in Kent, and a family of the name 
of Swan of Kentish origin, whose coat of arms consists of the figure 
of the stately bird. 

* Ending i. 122. 

t Yonge*s Christian Names, ii. 280. 


ensigns and adopted by a family who were not impro- 
bably descended from the lords of Arundel ?* 

The arms of the East Saxons, said to have been borne 
by Sebert or Sybert one of their kings, were 3 seaxes or 
falchions, which are the bearings of the family of Seaber. 
The Saxons are said to have derived their name from 
Seaxe a dagger. The Scythians worshipped their tutelar 
deity the God of War under the symbol of an iron sci- 
mitar.f A Scimitar is annually worshipped by the 
chivalry of Mewar in Hindostan. A sword or dagger is 
a prevalent charge in Polish blazonry. 

Mr. Lower in his Curiosities of Heraldry (appendix) 
says " The arms of the County of Cornwall are sable 15 
bezants 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. This coat is pretended to be 
derived from Cadoc or Cradock Earl or Duke of Cornwall 
in the 5th century." And he states that on the marriage 
of Eoger Yaletorte with Joan daughter of Eeginald de 
Dunstanville (natural son of King Henry I., created Earl 
of Cornwall 1140) he surrounded his paternal arms 
(argent three bendlets gules) with a bordure sable be- 
zantee. Henry II. took the earldom into his own hands, 
and gave it to his youngest son John, and John on com- 
ing to the throne gave it to his second son Eichard, after- 
wards King of the Eomans and Earl of Poitou. He 
bore argent a lion rampant gules crowned or within a 
bordure sable bezantee. He had, says Nisbet, nothing of 
his father's royal ensigns, his arms being composed of 
his two noble feus, and which were on his seal of arms 

* It may be objected that if de Arundel bore originally 6 martlets 
or swallows, the Earls of Montgomery, or in fact of Sussex, whose 
caput haronia was first at Chichester, the capital of the Regni and of 
Sussex, and subsequently at Arundel, would also have borne the 
martlets as the insignia of their Earldom, whatever their family arms 
were. But as we have no early seals of theirs, no evidence of this 
kind is obtainable on the point. The name of Arundel too it may be 
said would alone account for the swallows in the coat of De Arundel 
as canting arms ; but it would not furnish armes parlantes to a Saxon 
people, at least of swallows, afterwards of martlets. If the 6 mart- 
lets loere the ancient arms of the South Saxons, they were probably 
got in the same way and from a similar source as the 4 martlets on 
the coins of Edward the Confessor, 

t Gibbon, vi. 43. 


appended to instruments a.d. 1226. And Mr. Lower 
proceeds to give a numerous list of Cornish families who 
bore sable bezantee in their arms. The usage thus recited 
shows the bezants to have constituted the bearings of 
the County as early as the close of the 12 th century, 
which is the period alleged to have ffiven birth to he- 
raldry. Yet there could have been then no prescriptive 
use of the bezants more than of any other charges ; they 
must therefore have been of higher antiquity, whether 
or not they may have been borne by any Duke or Earl 
in the 5th century. 

The arms of the East Angles are said to have been 3 
crowns^ and they are to be found on fonts and in old 
stained glass in churches in Suffolk.* The arms of St. 
Edmund, their patron Saint are said to have been the 
same, with the addition of two arrows piercing each 
crown saltier- wise. The arms of azure three crowns or 
(for St. Edmund) along with azure a cross patonce and 
jive martlets or (for Edward the Confessor) and argent a 
cross gules (for St. George) were anciently depicted in 
stained glass in St. Stephen's ChapeLf The 3 crowns 
here have been supposed by some to be the cognizance 
of King Arthur, and are so described by Sandford in his 
Genealogical History (p. 270) where, speaking of a great 
seal of Henry Y. a cut of which he has inserted (p. 239) 
he affirms that two figures thereon in niches are those of 
Edward the Confessor and King Arthur, whose arms are 
there represented, as are also those of St. George. J 

On a seal of Edward III affixed to a deed dated 1st 
March 30 Edw. Ill and comprising a grant and sur- 
render from the Warden and College of the Free Chapel 
of St. George of Windsor, to King Edward himself, of the 
Manor of Old Windsor, which they held for the life of 
Oliver de Bordeaux, Edward himself is represented kneel- 

* Azv/re 3 crowns or are in the west window of Haughley cHurch. 
On the font are sculptured 3 crowns between the 2 in chief an 
arrow point downwards. Three Crowns are the arms of Scandinavia 
or Sweden. 

t Smith's AntiquUies of Westminster. 

X Ibid. p. 237. 


ing to a figure of St. George, in the habit of a soldier 
with a cross in his shield, and round the seal are three 
shields of arms. One of them at bottom contains those 
of England and France, another on one side those of 
Edward the Confessor* and the third shield on the oppo- 
site side three crowns.^ These were thus the traditional 
arms of St. Edmund as early as Edward the third, and 
probably earlier. 

The arms of Edward the Confessor above blazoned 
were placed in Westminster Abbey with others in the 
time of Henry III. These are said by existing he- 
raldic writers to have been taken from the coins of that 
monarch, on which are represented a cross between four 
doves or ravens, which also appear on coins of King 
Stephen. Now these writers contend that arms Jirst 
came into use at the end of the 12th century. In the 
middle of the next, arms are placed in a public edifice as 
those of a monarch who lived two centuries previously. 
Would so glaring an anachronism be perpetrated before 
the eyes of those who, or their fathers at least, must ac- 
cording to the theory advanced have witnessed or re- 
membered the origin of the practice ? It would be as 
absurd as for a painter of the present day to attempt to 
impose on the ignorance of the public by representing 
Charles the first in the costume of George the third. 
Again, how could the heralds of Henry the third have 
known that such bearings were on the coins of the Con- 
fessor ? It is hardly liely that any of his coins were 

* Froissart describing the banner of the Confessor as borne by 
Ricbard II on his expedition to Ireland thus blazons it, — Une croix 
potencee d^or et de geules a quafre colombs hlanc au champ de Vescu. 

t Lysons' Antiquities of Berkshire, p. 424, where the seal is en- 

Eichard II, anno 10, advanced Robert de Vere Earl of Oxford to 
the dignity of Duke of Ireland, and by letters patent granted him 
the kingdom and sovereignty of Ireland, with permission to bear for 
his arms azure 3 crowns or within a bordure argent, before his own 
coat. Rex concessit Roberto de Vere facto Marchioni de Dublin 
quod ipse quamdiu viverit et terram et dominium de Hibernie 
habuerit, gerat arma de azureo cum tribus coronis aureis et una cir- 
cumferentia vel bordura de argento. 1 Pars Pat. an. 9 Ric. II., as 
cited by Sandford, pi 178. 


then in circulation, two hundred years subsequently; 
and it cannot be imagined that there were numismatists 
at that early period. 

But the source of the device on the coins of the Con- 
fessor is evidently a strikingly similar one, used by one 
of the cohorts in the 5th century, the Constantiani, which 
might also have been impressed on coins. We have 
evidence that the types of the Eoman coinage were used 
by the Britons and the Saxons. On Coins of Cunobelin 
we meet with the winged figure of Victory. The Pegasus 
and Centaur are found on British coins. On a Coin of 
Ethelbert II King of Kent (568-615) we find the wolf 
suckling Eomulus and Eemus. The same device is also 
on Anglo Saxon sceattse, and is clearly copied from a 
common coin of Constantino (Hawkins*), and there was 
probably an intermediate use of the cross and 4 birds 
before the time of the Confessor, though no such speci- 
mens have been discovered. 

This brings us to consider generally the question of 
the Anglo Saxon coinage as afiecting the sources of many 
heraldic bearings. 

The types of these coins are infinitely various. The 
plain cross on all or most of them is said to have been for 
the purpose of dividing the coin into four parts, though 
Col. Leakef denies this. The pellets so generally occur- 
ring in the comers, seem to have been handed down from 

* " The Saxons long subsequent to their settlement in Britain do 
not appear to have had any coinage of their own; and it would seem 
that for two centuries they chiefly used the Koman money with that 
of France, as well as personal ornaments adapted to answer the pur- 
poses of stamped money." — Joum, of Arch, Assoc, 

t The dots which so frequently occur upon them render it not im- 
probable that they have some meaning bevond being ornamental. — 
Art. " On Anglo-Saxon Coins found at Hexham;" Archsologia vol. 25. 

The pellets, triangles, and devices apparently ornaments only upon 
our early coins may have been symbolical, at least in the primary use 
of them. * * It is well known that our Anglo-Saxon patterns were 
originally borrowed from the coins of the declining Empire, to be 
seen in Bandurin. As to the cross and pellets, the former may be 
traced to the brass money of Constantino Junior (when Caesar) and 
his successors, and as a token of Christianity, occurs on the reverse 
of a gold coin of Olybius.— Fosbroke's EncyclopcBdia of Antiquities 
Art. Numismatics. 


the time of the Eomans, on whose coins they are met with, 
and they are probably of the same significance originally 
as foimd on the shields of the Greek warriors, and were 
the heraldic symbols of those families who constituted 
the triumviri monetales before spoken of, and who impressed 
theii' own marks on the coins they issued. These pellets 
are found in various, no doubt intentional and syste- 
matic combinations, not the capricious invention of the 
moneyers, but an appropriation of ancient and prescriptive 
types. But the most remarkable types are various 
thoroughly heraldic forms of the cross alone, and along 
with crescents and other symbols.* Whether any of 
these were used on banners and shields by the kings on 
whose coins they appear we have no means of knowing ; 
but these coins from the seventh to the eleventh century 
display not only many of the constituent elements of 
heralcby, or rather actual heraldic charges, but as com- 
plete coats of arms as are found in the 14th century, and 
many of them exactly resembling them. 

The arms of the kingdom of Mercia are said to be a 
Saltire : the authority for this goes back to the time of 
Henry the Third. In a MS. Life of Ofia by Mathew 
Paris, who lived in that reign and died 1259, and supposed 
to have been written with his own hand (Brit. Mus. Cott. 
MSS. Nero Di.) are drawings of several objects and of 
coats of arms. Ardent a Saltire or is depicted on a flag 
and also on a shield as the bearing of Offa-f The same 
remarks made just now in reference to the anachronism 

* The early Christians used to paint an anchor, fish, ship, and dove, 
but never a human form. There can be little doubt that the symbols 
of the first Christians laid the foundation of many now incompre- 
hensible devices upon mediaeval coins. * * "Whatever meaning there- 
fore the devices might have had originally in se we conclude that the 
meaning was lost in the times of the Norman kings and Plantagenets. 
We presume nevertheless that many of them originally had a general 
symbolical meaning, and for this reason because they are not peculiar 
to any country. — Fosbroke's Encyclopadia of Antiquities, Art. 
Numismatics, p. 994. 

t Other arms given are, — on a coat of mail, semee of hammers or, 
and a shield of the same ; another, a Saltire between 4 bezants ; 
another, a lion rampant ; another, on the housings of the horse a 
cross flory pellett^e, on the shield a plain cross flory within a bordure 




O O O 



O O 

o o 



fhfto-li.-hi IftntfmiU * Bass LondOB 




of placing the arms of the Confessor in Westminster 
Abbey, if heraldry in his time was unknown, will apply to 
the attribution made by Mathew Paris. Mathew gives in 
the MS. just cited, and also in his History edited by Sir 
F. Madden, and published by the Master of the EoUs, 
the arms of several contemporary nobles and sovereigns, 
which as tested by other evidence, he blazons with perfect 
accuracy. Therefore, as in the great majority of cases, 
where we can verify his blazonry, we find him trust- 
worthy, we are bound to believe him in others, at least 
that he neither had recourse to invention or deceit. We 
are justified in believing that these attributed bearings 
of Ofia, and in his History, of the lion rampant for Harold, 
and 3 lions passant for William the Conqueror, were 
considered at the time he lived, as respectively the arms 
borne by them: and the further inference is justly 
deducible, that from such attributions, heraldry could not 
then have been regarded as an invention of only two 
generations previously^ Whether or not the Conqueror 
bore the 3 lions passant, it is clear that Mathew Paris 
looked on the then royal arms as of equal antiquity with 
the Norman conquest. 

According to the logic of many writers, and of most 
heraldic ones, we are to believe only what we see and 
know ; to draw no inferences, to indulge in no theories. 
So that but for the cross of St. George being repeatedly 
observed on the Bayeux tapestry we should have no 
earlier evidence of its presence in England than the seal 
of Edward III before mentioned. But if the cross of 
St. George was known at the Conquest, and probably long 
before, why may we not believe in the emblems of St. 
Edmund, St. Oswald and others as then in existence ? * 

We will now conclude this inquiry by oflfering some 

* In the "Wardrobe accounts of Edward tTie First, payments were 
made " Domino Willielmo de Felton pro quinque vexillis Regis por- 
tandis in guerre Scocie anno present!, videlicet duobus vexillis de 
armis AngEe, tercio vexillo de armis Sancti G-eorgii, quarto de armis 
Sancti Edmundi, et quinque de armis Sancti Edwardi." There is 
another entry of payment " Domino Willielmo de G-retham monacho 
Dunelm. sequenti Jiegem cum vexillo Sancti Cuthberti in guerra 
Scocie anno presenti." — Grose's Military Antiquities, ii. 62. 


general reasons why it is highly probable armorial bear- 
itigs were in use by the Anglo-Saxon kings and nobles 
in England, from the fifth to the eleventh centuries, and 
notice the contrary opinion. 

1. The practice of the Eoman legions in this respect, 
like many other custoiQS, could not fail to excite the 
observation of the early Saxon Invaders, and to engender 

2. The various peoples who successively settled in 
England, descended from the ancient Germans or Cymbri, 
who we have seen had their ensigns, can scarcely be 
supposed to have discontinued this habit of their ances- 
tors. The white horse of the Saxons, and the Kaven of 
the Danes show in two cases that they did not. 

3. We meet with frequent mention of Banners amongst 
the Saxons. These must have had emblems of some sort 
embroidered on them, and were doubtless reproduced on 
the shields of the leaders in warfare. 

4. The Le^es Hastiludiales of Henry the Fowler in 938, 
we have seen, required the combatants in Tournaments 
to prove the bearing in their families for at least four 
generations of gentilitial ensigns. This practice thus 
prevailing for a century must have been known in 
England, through the intercourse with the German and 
French courts, especially during the reigns of Oflfa, king 
of Mercia, and Alfred the Great ; and it is not improbable 
that Tournaments were introduced into England, and the 
display therefore of armorial bearings must have become 
more general, if limited before. 

5. The Bayeux Tapestry representing the Battle of 
Hastings exhibits the Saxon warriors equally with the 
Normans as having devices on their shields. But as will 
be presently explained in detail, we are not hereby fur- 
nished with distinct notions of what they were, as the 
same devices are frequently given to both sides ; and it 
would seem that no attempt at identification was made, 
or that the bearings of any particular persons or families 
were intended to be depicted. 

Mr. Lower in his work before quoted, at p. 18 has the 
following remarks : — 


" Speed and other historians give the arms of a long line of the 
Anglo-Saxon and Danish monarchs of England up to the period of 
the Norman Conquest ; but we search in vain for contemporary- 
evidence that armorial distinctions were then known. The MSS. of 
those early times which have descended to us are rich in illustra- 
tions of costume, but no representation of these * ensigns of honour' 
occurs in any one of them. 

As to the argument of the absence of " contempo- 
rary evidence," what is its value in Archaeology ? It is 
at best but negative. Of the Literature and Monu- 
mental remains of the remote Past, we know that only 
scattered fragments and scanty ruins have escaped the 
ravages of time ; if therefore in these we find no trace 
or vestige of a particular usage or custom, that circum- 
stance is not conclusive against its existence. But if in 
the full and complete Eecords and Narratives of the pre- 
sent and recent periods, we find no mention of a common 
custom or every-day occurrence, we rightly infer its 
non-existence. We read of no railways or steamboats 
in the last century, and we know that they did not then 
exist. The legal maxim De non apparentibiis et de non 
existentibm eadetn est ratio is unsound per se^ though 
wise as regulating the admissibility of evidence in the 
serious questions affecting life and property. It is 
wholly out of place and inapplicable in archaeological 

The Institution of the Order of the Garter by Edward 
III., and the existence of the Badge of the Black Prince 
are accepted facts, and we should expect to find some 
contemporary notice of the former amongst State Ee- 
cords, and of the latter in some Heraldic document : 
yet we fail to do so, and as Sir Harris Nicolas observes* 
*^ It is a most remarkable fact that the only contempo- 
rary evidence of the institution of the Order of the Garter 
is to be found in a tailor's account ; and that the only con- 
temporary notice of the Prince of Wales's badge should 
occur in a memorandum on a treatise on Hemorrhoids." 

Even in full and professed Treatises on particular 
subjects in the present day we look in vain for informa- 

* Archaeologia vol. 32 p. 333. 


tion on matters that are intimately even essentially con- 
nected with them. Grose's work on Military Antiquities 
gives an historical account of the English army, yet con- 
tains not the slightest notice of its Standards and the 
Colours of its Kegiments. The Enfiyclopcedia Britannica 
contains a very full and elaborate treatise on the Armies 
of all ages, and countries, but is totally silent on the 
banners and ensigns of any one of them. 

Other analogies will show the absence of contemporary 
evidence to be of no logical value. No coins of the Welch 
princes are known to exist, although their exclusive right 
to coin money is mentioned in Welch Laws. No coins 
of the South Saxons have been met with. We have no 
seal or contemporary proof that Henry the Second had a 
coat of arms ; though we have that his brother, other 
relatives, and many of the nobles and knights of his time 
displayed armorial bearings. On the seal of Edward III. 
we find for the first time on a royal seal the helmet sur- 
mounted by a crest, the lion statant guardant, yet on the 
seals of Edmund Crouchback Earl of Lancaster, and on 
those of some few others, crests will be found to have been 
represented some forty years anterior.* The royal arms 
were not placed on coins till the time of Edward III., 
two hundred years nearly after they are found on seals. 
Of what value then after these and such instances are po- 
sitive conclusions from negative evidence ? What is the 
force of an argument derived from hypothetical notions 
of the sources of testimony — ^from mere conjectures as 
to where we ought to look for it, and expect to find it ? 

With respect to the absence of armorial ensigns in 
the illuminated MSS. of the period, f much of the fore- 

* Willement's Regal Heraldry. 

t Mr. Westwood's magnificent work The Miniatures and Orna- 
ments of Anglo- Saxon and Irish MSS, contains fac-similes of beau- 
tiful illuminations from the 7th to the 10th century. " The various 
styles of ornament," employed in them, Mr. Westwood says, " were 
practised throughout Great Britain and Ireland from the 4th or 5th 
to the 10th or 11th centuries, and as they appear in their purest 
and most elaborate forms in those parts where the old Celtic races 
longest prevailed, we have not hesitated to give the Celtic as their 
generic name. * * * The chief peculiarities of the Celtic ornamen- 


going reasoning will be applicable, but the most conclu- 
sive argument as to the value of this particular species 
of negative evidence is afforded by the fact that heraldic 
shields are rarely met with in the abundant illuminated 
MSS. we possess of the most flourishing periods of 
Heraldry. We have initial letters of great beauty, floral 
ornaments and patterns, pictures of saints and religious 
subjects ; but very few coats of arms, and those chiefly 

tation consist first, in the entire absence of foliage or other phyllo- 
morphic or vegetable ornament, — the classical acanthus thus being 
entirely ignored ; and secondly, in the extreme intricacy and excessive 
minuteness and elaboration of the various patterns, mostlv geome- 
trical, consisting of interlaced ribbon work, diagonal or spiral lines, 
and strange monstrous animals and birds, with long top-knots, 
tongues and tails, intertwining in almost endless knots." 

This being the character of the ornamentation of the period, we 
should seek in vain for any but the most casual illustration of cos- 
tume, arts, or customs. But notwithstanding, in one plate (xliv.) 
from a MS. of the 10th century, we find in an apparently religious 
subject, three persons carrying banners that have a sacred aspect, 
and in plate xlvii., a.d. 966, there are four oval figures that seem to 
have an heraldic appearance. (These appear amongst the illustra- 
tions of this work) ; whilst heraldic patterns of a simple character 
are introduced and mixed with the ornamentation in most of the 
plates. Thus (plate iv.) in a MS. of the 7th century St. Matthew 
IS exhibited in a robe of achequy pattern, or and gules, with hose of 
the same, and the lion of St. Mark is covered with a lozengy pat- 
tern or and vert. In another MS. of the same date (plate v.) the 
eagle of St. Luke exhibits a mascally pattern. Plate ix. is a fac- 
simile of a MS. of the same date, which exhibits the symbols of the 
four Evangelists. The winged bull is dotted all over with three red 
balls, and three lavender balls, triangular wise, on a green ground. 
On the other symbols we see on the wings the chevron pattern, 
the mascally pattern, and the peacock's tail pattern. In a MS. 
of the same date as the precediug, on a narrow border are exhibited 
small figures of the mascally, lozengy, and paly patterns, and one 
with a single bar. Plate xxiii. is from a MS. of the 8th or Qth 
century, where the four symbols of the Evangelists are depicted ; 
their bodies are all of one pattern, viz. semee of circles, a dot in 
the centre of each. Plate xxviii. represents the Crucifixion. The 
soldier with the spear, and the attendant lifting the sponge, have 
their robes decorated with paly and pellety patterns. We have 
seen in a preceding chapter that ancient ornamentation was in 
general fixed and significant, and not arbitrary and fanciful. These 
heraldic patterns there is therefore no doubt had a special mean- 
ing, and were probably the bearings of the patrons of the works 
of art on which they are exhibited. 

M 2 

164 medleVal heealdry. 

of some eminent person pourtrayed, or of the owner of 
the MS. The tastes of the age did not choose this mode 
of heraldic display, nor intend in this manner to convey 
information to posterity. It was a question of fashion ; 
just as it was at one time to embroider dresses, tapestry, 
bed-hangings, etc., with coats of arms, and at another 
time to fill the windows of private houses with heraldic 
stained glass, both of which customs have gone out, 
whilst new modes of armorial display have succeeded 

It is true there is a battle-scene of Saxon times repre- 
sented in a MS. (Cotton MSS. Claud. B iv.) figured in the 
Pictorial History of England (i. 333) where there are 
four circular shields exhibited, all alike, having no device : 
and other illuminations represent them painted with 
red and blue borders, with tie ground and centre gene- 
rally white. But in these cases we have merely the 
shields of the common soldiers, who it cannot be sup- 
posed had any device either personal or corporate ; that 
practice being confined apparently to the Eoman army. 
But we shall see hereafter, as we have before, that plain 
shields or with only a coloured border, co-existed with 
shields having emblems, the latter of course being con- 
fined to the heads of the different divisions of the army, 

We have now to consider the light thrown upon our 
enquiries by that venerable and remarkable memorial, 
the well-known Bayeux tapestry. Yarious opinions have 
been formed as to its age, and by whom and where it 
was executed ; f but although they differ, its embroidered 

* In the Archaologia (vol. xxi.) is given an engraving of a con- 
temporary picture of tlie Battle of Bamet, which exhibits only two 
banners, one with a rose, and the other with the royal arms ; whilst 
the combatants have no heraldic insignia whatever, and this was at 
a period when their display in warfare was profuse. 

fin Bogue's English Edition of Thierry's Norman Conquest 
(Hazlitt's Translation) vol. i, p. 410, is a letter from the dis- 
tinguished historian on this celebrated piece* of needlework. ** The 
tradition," he says, " which assigned to Queen Matilda the execution 
of the piece of tapestry preserved at Bayeux, a tradition in itself 
quite recent, and thoroughly refuted by M. De la Rue, is now no 
longer admitted by any one." And he thus sums up his opinion on 

MEDIEVAL heraldry; 165 

pictures are generally accepted as faithful representations 
of the great event it commemorates, the incidents pre- 
ceding and characterizing it, and of the costumes and 
military appointments of the time. 

A coloured fac-simile of this historical Tapestry has 
been published in folio plates by the Society of Anti- 
quaries in their Monumenta Vetustaj and it has also been 
more recently engraved on a reduced scale, with explana- 
tory chapters, by Dr. Collingwood Bruce, the learned 
historian of the Eoman Wall. I propose to make use of 
this latter work in analyzing the various pictures of the 
Tapestry with a view to a more definite and critical 
estimate of the heraldic information afforded by it, than 
as far as I am aware has yet been made. 

Plate II. The four knights who captured Harold by 
order of Guy, Count of Ponthieu, have four shields ; on 
two is a dragon, on another a cross, and the other ex- 
hibits a bordure invecked. 

Plate III. Two messengers (nuntii) of William, on 
horseback, bearing shields with dragons. 

Plate IV. Willielmm Buco Normannorum attended by a 
knight on horseback with a dragon on a shield, and two 
others with plain shields bordured. In another place 
William is attended by guards, the foremost of whom 
bears a shield with a cross, and others behind, plain 
shields bordured. 

Plate V. A warrior on horseback of William's party, 
has a shield with a saltire ; another, a cross pat^e. 

" The banner of the Norman army is invariably argent 
a cross or [? gules] in a bordure azure. This is repeated 
over and over agam. We meet with it in the war against 
Conan, as well as at Pevensey and Hastings." 

" In the Tapestry, Harold's standard is a dragon. 

the controversies on the subject, " I think with the majority of the 
Saxons, who have written on the Bayeux tapestry, that it is contem- 
poraneous with the great event it represents; I think with Mr, 
Bolton Comey, that it was executed at the order and cost of the 
Chapter of Bayeux, and I add, as a conjecture of my own, that it 
was manufactured in England, aaid by iraiglish workers, according to 
a design transmitted from Bayeux." 


Wace does not describe it, but says bis gonfanon was a 
noble one, sparkling with gems and precious stones." 

Plate VI. Conan surrendering the keys of Dinan to 
William's chiefs, who are on horseback, with shields ; the 
foremost has a cross pat^e, the other two a cross ut antcy 
gules on a white field, perhaps the cross of St. George 
so often appearing. In Plate IX it is so exhibited ; in 
other plates the colours are different. 

' Plate XIII. Under Iste nunciat Haroldum regem de 
eoaercitu JFillielmi ducis* Here the scout of the Saxon 
army has a shield bezant^e, whilst Harold, to whom he 
is bringing news, has a shield almost exactly similar, both 

Plate XV. Three Saxons on foot with lances and 
shields ; five roimdels on the latter saltier-wise. 

Plate XVI. Normans with shields bezant^e. Pour 
Saxons on foot with a cross ut ante^ fighting a Norman 
with a dragon on his shield. Harold himself has a cross 
on his shield. 

Plate XVI. " Harold, first of aU, appears standing by 
his standard (the dragon) contending with a horseman, 
who is making a rush at him as at Dinan," where two 
of the combatants have each a shield with a saltire. 

Plate XIX. Saxons on foot resisting attack of cavalry 
of Normans ; of the former, the two foremost bear a 
cross ut ante; others, bezant^e kite-shaped shields. Also 
Saxons on foot with circular bucklers, a bordure bezant^e, 
fighting with Normans on horseback, having bezant^e 

What then does this examination show ? Simply a con- 
fused armorial display. We have an indiscriminate mix- 
ture of kite-shaped and circular shields borne by both sides; 
and the same devices are found on the shields of Nor- 
mans and Saxons. A dragon as a standard is placed by 
the side of Harold, and we meet with dragons on the 
shields of William's messengers (Plate III.) and on those 
of the knights of the Count of Ponthieu (Plate II.) It 
is evident that no attempt was made, except perhaps in 
a few cases, to assign to the various principal personages 
in the composition the arms borne by them (probably 



from ignorance), and that the designer was ignorant of 
what were the peculiar ensigns of the Saxons, but ac- 
quainted from general observation, or perhaps special 
instruction with the prevailing characteristics of Norman 
heraldry, and delineated specimens in accordance with 
such general knowledge. And such vague, and perhaps 
fanciful representations, are often inevitable where there 
is no special knowledge obtainable ; or the subject does 
not admit of its application. The sculptures on Trajan's 
column, where the shields of the soldiers are represented 
as covered with devices, probably do not convey represen- 
tations of the actual emblems of any cohort.* One thing 
is pretty certain, that if armorial bearings were not then 
painted on shields and banners we should not see them 
exhibited on this piece of Tapestry. But the great 
question arises, do these shields indicate the existence at 
the period of a system of Heraldry such as prevailed a 
century or more subsequently ? For this most writers 
deny. We will proceed then to the discussion of this 

Mr. C. Stothard, in an explanatory letter in the 

Archceologia (xix. 188), designed to accompany the 

Illustrations which were executed by him, ob- 
serves : — 

* An exemplification of the views in the text is afforded by re- 
presentations of the murder of Thomas a Becket. In Fowler's folio 
work, Engravings from Stained Glass, is given a fac-simile of this 
subject from a window in the North aisle of the cathedral church of 
Christ Church, Oxford. In Carter*s Ancient Sculpture and Fai/nting, 
a fac-simile is given of a representation of the subject in question 
in a painting on a board in Canterbury Cathedral. And in the 
Journal of the Archceological Association (x.) is given an engraving 
of another discovered in 1853 at St. John's Church, Winchester, 
by P. J. Baigent, Esq. In all these three cases the shields of the 
four knights are differently pourtrayed (as may be seen from the 
accompanying plate), erroneous knowledge Or tradition, and fancy 
having evidently been the sources of the blazonry of the respective 

In the Herald and Genealogist for January 1868 (pp. 51-61), an 
article of mine on " Fanciful and Imaginary Armory," discusses 
these heraldic displays by artists, and the question whether armorial 
bearings in England were arbitrarily assumed during the 14th and 
15th centuries. 



The figures on horseback bear on their shields rarious devices, but 
none which may be properly termed heraldic. Neither here nor in 
any other part of the Tapestry, is a lion, fess, chevron, or other 
heraldic figure to be found ; they are almost entirely confined to 
dragons, crosses, and spots [roundels]. Nor do we find any par- 
ticular or distinguished person twice bearing the same device. The 
pennons attached to the lances of the Normans are similarly orna- 
mented, with this exception, that they bear no animals. 

But a mucli more recent writer* errs perhaps on the 
opposite side when he says that the Bayeux Tapestry 
" exhibits a complete display of the military ensigns in 
use at the period of the conquest, by both the Norman 
invaders, and the Saxon occupants of this island." 

The reason given by Mr. Stothard for regarding these 
devices as not "properly termed heraldic" is singular. 
Because in these specimens of the usage of the time, we 
don't find the lion, fess, or chevron, therefore the essence 
of heraldry is wanting. What would be thought of 
applying such a test to the heraldry of different countries ? 
"What would be thought if the Spaniards stigmatized 
English Heraldry as spurious, because in certain partial 
examples of it, as a roll of arms, or the armorial blazonry 
of a Cathedral, the rabbit and fig-leaf as charges were 
wanting, which are so abundant in their own country ? 
What if the Germans so denounced it because the horse 
would not be met with, a device so common in their own 
coats of arms ? But after all, the Bayeux Tapestry does 
exhibit a considerable variety of heraldic forms, as the ac- 
companying plate will at once testify. Who would ex- 
pect to find in such a memorial all the charges and sym- 
bols given in a professed treatise on the subject ? 

Mr. Blanche, one of the most determined opponents of 
the antiquity of Heraldry, thus expresses himself on this 
subject : — 

" Devices of rude execution and capricious assumption were un- 
doubtedly in use amongst the Normans, as we find not only by their 
shields in the Bayeux Tapestry, but by the Anglo-Norman poet 
"Wace, who intimates that the fashion was peculiar to them."t 

* Heraldry Mistorical and Popular, by Eev. C. Boutell, 1864, 
page 3. 

t JPursuivant at Arms, ed. 1852, page 10. 



The words used by Waoe are 

" E tuit ovent fet cognoissances 
Ki Norman alter conust 
El ke r autre portuer neuat,^^ 

There is nothing here about arms being ^^ peculiar to 
the Normans." Mr. Planch^ further remarks " Had re- 
gular armorial bearings been at that period (temp. 
Henry II.) in existence he (Wace) could scarcely have 
refrained from alluding to their derivation from the bar- 
barous devices of the Norman invaders." The very 
contrary of Mr. Planch^'s supposition is far more proba- 
ble. Were these devices ;2^ Wace was likely to have 
said so. When an author speaks of a custom without 
comment or explanation, the presumption is that it is not 
new. And the facts mentioned by Wace that these cog- 
nizances were to distinguish the bearers from one another, 
and that one man dared not use another's, are evidence 
of systematic and regulated use, as opposed to " capri- 
cious assumption." 

The devices Mr. Planche describes as " crosses, rings, 
grotesque monsters, and fanciful devices of various de- 
scriptions, but nothing approaching a regular heraldic 
figure or disposition of figures." But on the banners 
or pennons of which there are 37, we find barry, paly, 
roundels, cinqfoils and crosses.* Surely these are " re- 
gular heraldic figures." It seems with Mr. Planche and 
the school which he represents, a fatal objection to the 
drawings of the Bayeux tapestry, that they are rude and 
grotesque. But why shoiild rudeness of execution in- 
validate the reality and identity of the thing intended ? 
A rudely executed lion or griffin of 1066 is as much " a 
regular heraldic bearing " as the same thing on a seal of 
1166."f Most of the admitted early heraldic seals are 

* See an article by Mr. Frencli on the Banners of the Bayeux 
Tapestry in vol. 13 of the Journal of the British Arch. Assoc, with 
numerous engravings. 

t What should we* think of a book printed by Caxton or Wyn- 
kyn de Worde being refused the designation of " a regular printed 
book " or a ** print^ book truly so called " ? Mr. Planch^ and his 
followers deny the existence of " heraldry truly so called " till we 


extremely rudely done ; so mucli so that in many cases 
it is difficult to tell what kind of animal is meant to be 
represented : but this is merely an indication of the low 
state of art at the time, perhaps no more advanced than 
in the time of the ancient Gauls and Germans, who 
we have seen wore figures of birds and beasts on their 

It will be desirable now to see what other memorials 
there may be, or passages in the Literature of the time, 
to corroborate the views which we have maintained as to 
the existence of Heraldry at the period of the Ccmquest, 

Sir Frederick Madden in an excellent article in the 
Arch(Bolog%a (voL 24) *^ On the Ancient Chessmen found 
in the Isle of Lewis '^ enters into the question imder dis- 
cussion somewhat at length, and his instructive observa- 
tions deserve to be quoted. He remarks : — 

The shields of the knights and warders are highly curious as pre- 
senting to us a series of devices (the immediate precursors of here- 
ditary armorial bearings) in greater variety than is to be found on 
any other existing monuments. From the very earliest period, the 
Gothic nations were accustomed to paint their shields of various 
colours (Tacitus de Mor. Ger. cap. 6) ; and from the Eomans they 
might easily have learnt to adopt different insignia. From some 
passages in the Yoluspa, Saxo, and (Egil's Saga, it has been assumed 
by many of the Northern antiquaries, that the ancient Scandina- 
vians adorned their shields with representations of their exploits ; 
but Sperlingius, in his collections on the subject, argues strongly 
against it, and affirms that before the 12th century no trace of any 
devices on shields is to be found among them. The fact of colours, 
however, and even of gilding, is admitted, and the usual pigments 
employed were red or white. In Scemund's poetical Edda mention 
is made of a red shield with a golden border, and the encomiast of 
Queen Emma, in describing Canute's armament, when sailing to in- 
vade England, speaks of the glittering effulgence of the shields sus- 
pended on the sides of the ships (Erant ibi scutorum tot genera ut 
crederes adesse omnium populorum agmina, etc.) At the period of 
the first Crusade, it was certainly customary to ornament shields 
veiT highly. Hobert of Aix, wno was himself present, thus de- 
scribes the European knights : " They are clothed in iron, their 
shields are resplendent with gold, gems, and colours, and their helms 

have abundant examples of its devices on shields, and till art had 
improved its representations. According to this reasoning Printing 
was an art which could not be said to have dated its origin from the 
15th century. 


emit rays like sunbeams" (variisque coloribus depicti). * * * 
Snon^B says many of King Olafs soldiers carried white shields dis- 
tinguished by crosses of gold, or of colours red and blue. * * * 
The era of tne general adoption of armorial bearings in Europe is 
fixed with sufficient exactness at the end of the 12th century, but 
the existence of certain distinctive figures or badges is unquestion- 
ably to be referred to an earlier period. The shields on the Bayeux 
Tapestry exhibit not only crosses, but a species of dragon, and on 
the seal of Bobert the Frisian, Earl of Flanders, attached to a deed 
dated 1072, is represented a lion rampant. There is a passage also 
in the Nial Saga written at the commencement of the 12th century, 
which expressly notices the insignia adopted by Kari son of Solomon, 
a native of the Hebrides, and Helgo son of Nial, about a.d. 998. 
" Skarphedin " says the writer " went first clad in a kirtle of blue, 
and bearinga shield of the kind called " targe," and an axe on his 
shoulder. He was followed by Helgo, who wore a helmet, and a red 
tunic, and carried a purple shield, on which was deijicted a slag. 
Next came Kari, dressed in a silken tunic, with a gilded helmet, 
and a shield bearing the figure of a lion on it." 

Mr. Planche (p. 7) gives a quotation from Anna Com- 
nena (1081-1118) showing that shields were then of 
polished niejtal ; and states that " Bobert of Aix who was 
present at the first Crusade(1096-1101), though he speaks 
of the shields being resplendent with gold, and gems, 
and painted of various colours, makes no mention of 
heraldic devices." We don't however expect of poets 
and chroniclers, literal and minute descriptions, but 
simply characteristics and sketches.* Shields geome- 
trically divided, and of "various colours" would cor- 
respond with the bearings of most of the Crusaders, ac- 
cording to their blazon in the Salle des Croisis at Ver- 
sailles, and as gold was a prevalent colour of the shield 
or surface of the shield, the description in general terms 

* Q-effrey de Vinsauf in his Itinerary of Eichard I. speaks of "shields 
emblazoned with lions or fiying dragons in gold" as borne by the 
Crusaders. This according to Mr. Planche's construction, would 
imply that there were no silver shields, nor any devices hut lions 
and dragons. Again, John of Salisbury, who wrote temp. Hen. II., 
speaking of the English knights, remarks that they "gild their 
shields," an expression that according to Mr. Planche's rea&ig would 
exclude heraldic devices. But this was at a period when they were 
certainly borne on shields. The expression would more correctly be 
interpreted to mean that their shields glitter with gold (and silver) 
in various forms. 


would be correct of both the above writers. Two in-^ 
stances in point may be mentioned : 1. Wace in the Roman 
de Rou speaking of Harold's standard, says his gonfanon 
was a noble one, sparkling with gems and precious stones. 
He omits the incident of the device with which it was 
charged, which we learn from the Bayeux Tapestry, 
where we find the standard of a dragon by his side, 
2. The siege of Caerlaverock, a.d. 1300, has been re- 
lated in verse by some unknown poet, the main charac- 
teristics of which are the names of the principal warriors 
engaged, their qualities, and their coats of arms. We 
incidentally get much knowledge of heraldic usage in 
this poem, as for instance, that two knights . bore pre- 
cisely the same bearings, " at which many marvelled,'* 
it being a distinctive feature in heraldry, as noticed by 
Wace, that no two persons should display identical de- 
vices (at least without some distinguishing adjunct of 
colour or charge) yet throughout the poem there is no 
mention of any of the coats being hereditary. But we 
happen to have abundance of other evidence at this time 
that such was the case. Had we not, however, accord- 
ing to Mr. Blanche's logic, we should come to the conclu- 
sion that this quality did not exist, though other logi- 
cians would consider the matter as undetermined. Such 
is the fallacy of drawing positive inferences from im- 
perfect descriptions, and that do not necessarily give 
^^ the whole truth." 

Before proceeding further we may cite a passage 
quoted by Sandford in his Genealogical History (p. 2) from 
the Gesta Willielmi Ducis Normannice (p. 113) that im- 
plies the existence of armorial bearings at the time 
, of the Conqueror. We are told ^^ qualem equum in 

I pretio sit habiturus, quale scuimn, et qualem vestitum 

\ * ♦ # equum vicissim Domini sui praesignat vestitum 

et arma." Here the words " quale scutum " can hardly 
refer to the form of the shield, but must mean the de- 
vice, depicted on it, though the word "arma" may 
mean weapons. 

The sepulchral monuments of the 14th and subse- 






quent centuries were generally, and often richly, embel- 
lished with heraldic shields, though in early times and 
except on dress, deficient in any written inscription. 
As a general rule memorials of the dead previous to the 
14th century were without any device or sculpture, ex- 
cept of an effigy or cross of some form.* If therefore 
on most of these, no trace of armorial bearings is to be 
found, even after their proved general use, still less 
should we expect to find any vestiges on earlier monu- 
ments, or consider their .absence as affording any argu- 
ment either way. Yet as we shall see presently, there 
are exceptional cases; and there is one on record as 
early as 1010. This is the monument of Valmond Count 
of Vasserburg in the Church of St. Emmeran at Katisbon, 
on which is a shield of coupi per f ess argent and sable ^ 
over all a lion^ with the words "Anno Domini MX." 
Of this tomb M. de Menestrier says there is good reason 
to believe that it was restored some time after his death 
by the monks of the abbey which he had endowed. 
This of course is possible, but as a suggestion to damage 
important evidence is of little value, in presence of the 
facts already produced, testifying to the existence of 
heraldic bearings at this period. 

* Examples of sepulchral crosses in the ] Ith and 12th centuries 
in England are rare ; there are a few in Yorkshire. But in Ireland 
monumental crosses of the 6th and 7th centuries are found ; and 
nearly all are accompanied with inscriptions. (Art. on Q-rave Stones 
in Archaological Journal, iv. 56.) 

There was an inscription on the coffin-plate of Gunilda sister of 
Harold the Second. {Archaologiaj vol. 25.) The coffin found in the 
ruins of Lewes Priory contained the remains of William de Warren, 
and Gundrada his wife, daughter of William the Conqueror, and was 
inscribed "Gundrada" and "Willelm." See Joum. of ArchsBol, 
Assoc, i. 347. 




M. DE CouRCELLES, the leamed continuator of nArt de 
verifier les Dates^ gives the following early instances of 
heraldic seals : * 

" On a le contrat de manage de Saaiclie, infant de Castille, avec 
Guillemine, fille de Centule Gaston IL, vicomte de Beam, de Tan 
1038, de Tere d'Espagne (1000 de Jesus- Christ) au bas duquel il y 
ayait sept sceaux apposes, dont deux se sont conserves entiers. Le 
premier represente un ecu, sur lequel on voit un levrier ; le second 
est un ecu tranche par des harres transversales, M. de Villaret 
qui nous a transmis Texamen de ces sceaux, pretend qu^on pent 
certainement i|Bconnaitre dans le second les figures employees dans 
le blason modeme. 11 en eut pu dire autant du premier, qui 
pouvait bien etre le .sceau de Gracie-Amaud, Comte d'Aure et de 
Magnoac, lequel vivait dans le meme temps, et dont les descendants 
ont toujours porte un levrier dans leurs armes. Deux sceaux d'Adel- 
bert, due et marquis de Lorraine, apposes k deux chartes des 
annees 1030 et 1037, de Tere vulgaire, repr^sentent un ^u charge 
d*une aigle au vol abaisse. 

Un dipl6me de Rajrmond de Saint- Gilles, de Tan 1088, est scelle 
d*une croiw vidde, clechee et pometee, telle que Tout toujours portee 
depuis, les Comtes de Toulouse. L'histonen du Languedoc avait 
pens6 que c'etait le plus ancien monument heraldique. 

Le sceau de Thierri II Comte de Bar-le-Duc, et de Montbeliard, 
de Mouson, et de Ferrette, mis au bas d'un acte de Tan 1093, repre- 
sente deua: bars adosses. 

Reuaud L, dit le Borgne, qui possedait les m^mes comtes y ajouta 
le semSe de croisettes fichdes. 

* Quoted in M. Pautet's Manuel du Blason, 12mo., p. 70. 


Au bas d'une charte de Hugues II, due de Bourgogne, de Tan 
1102, parait un sceau, ou ce prince est represente a cheval, tenant 
une lance sur I'epaule, et son bouclier handS de six pieces, avec une 
bordure. On salt que ses descendants ont toujours porte les 
memes armoiries. 

Raoul I, Seigneur de Beaugency, qui suivit Godefroy de Bouillon 
k la Conquetede la Terre-Sainte en 1096, restitua Tan 1104, Teglise 
de Saint- Firmin aux religieuses de cet abbaye, en presence du 
concile de Beaugency: fleet acteest appos6 son sceau, repr6sentant 
un ecu echiquet^ avec unefasce. 

A un acte de la m^me annee 1104, est suspendu le sceau de 
Simon de Broyes et de Beaufort, representant trois hroyes ouvertes 
Vune sur V autre, 

Le sceau de Guiraud de Simiane, mis k deux actes des ann6es 
1113 et 1120, represente tm 4cu charge d*un belter,*^ 

Four of these early examples Mr, Montagu, in his 
Guide to the Study of Heraldry^ quotes ; but, without 
gainsaying them, hesitates to beKeve in their genuine- 
ness. As M. de Courcelles concludes his list with some 
seals* of the family of Soligne to which he gives the 
date of 1130, but which according to M. Lobineau, are 
a century later, Mr. Montagu's misgivings are certainly 
not without reason, though it does not follow if errors 
of date are chargeable in some instances that they are in 
all. M. de Courcelles concludes with these words : 

"Le moine de Marmoutier qui a 6crit I'histoire de Geoffrey, 
Comte d'Anjou, Tan 1100, parle du blason comme d'un usage etabli 
depuis longtems dans les families illustres." 

The well known work of Uredius, Sigilla Comitum 
FlandricB, supplies an early instance of an heraldic seal ;"|' 
that however, it is presumed because it is an early spe- 
cimen, and conflicts with a cherished theory, has been 
considered to be an anachronism, if not a fabrication. 
M. Pautet, before quoted, speaks of it as follows : " Le 
Pere Mabillon cite d'apres Olivier de Ur^e un sceau de 

* These are given in a subsequent page from M. Lobineau's 

t The first seal given is that of Emidphus Comes ElandriaB, 941, 
being an old man sitting in a chair, with a shield, on which traces 
appear of some marks. The seal of Earl Baldwin, 1067, represents 
the shield averted. Three seals of Eobert junior have also the 
shields averted. So it is in the seal of Earl Baldwin 1119 : and also 
in that of Wm. Count of Flanders, son of Eobert Duke of Nor- 


Eobert I. Comte de Flandres, attache k une charte de 
1072, sur lequel Eobert est repr^sent^ k cheval, tenant 
I'epee d'une main, et de Pautre un ^cu snr lequel est 
un lion [rampant] : et hie primus est ajoute-t-il Comitum 
Flandrensium qui symholum gentilitium praferebatP This 
seal Mr. Planche, in his work Heraldry founded on Facts, 
perhaps for the above reason, passes over entirely, and 
says of the next which occurs in the work, the seal of 
Philip I. Count of Flanders of 1164, that "it is the 
earliest unquestionable example in the Collection of 
Uredius, on which the lion appears as an heraldic bear- 
ing." This seal is further interesting, as the helmet of 
the warrior exhibits a crest, viz. a demi lion rampant. 

In the Preuves (p. 71) of the Origine de la Maison de 
Solder (fol. Leyden, 1671) is given a charter of Walter 
de Sohier, dated 1111, the seal attached to which con- 
tains the -figure of a warrior on horseback, a mullet of 
5 points appearing on his shield, on the housings of the 
horse, as also on the secretum. 

In Gale's Begistrmn Honoris de Bichmoncl is engraved 
amongst other seals, one attached to a charter of Stephen 
Earl of Eichmond, who died 1137 ; the shield and the 
surcoat of the Earl are powdered with fleurs de lis : 
this is perhaps the earliest known instance of this device, 
it not being found on the seals of the Kings of France 
anterior to the time of Louis VII. circa 1150. Stephen 
was also Comte de Pentievre, and his wife Comtesse de 
Guinchamp, and the fleur de lis was probably the ensign 
of one of these dignities. No early instance (i. e. before 
the 13th century) of the Ermine, the coat of the Dukes 
of Brittany, is met with, but that it was their original 
bearing is probable from this circimistance. In Lobi- 
neau's Histoire de Bretagne, amongst many other seals, 
is given one of Geoffry de Chateaubriant, 1217, of a 
man on horseback, both being covered with peacock's 
TAILS, as also the shield, and the shield of the counter 
seal. There is also a seal of the same person of the date 
1199, containing no charge, but on the counterseal is a 
peacock's tail. This as thus represented resembles some 
drawings of Ermine, and might have been the origin of 


it. Briant was brother of Stephen aforesaid, and was 
progenitor of the Comtes de Chateaubriand. On the 
counter seal of "Eon fils du Comte" 1231, are three 
peacock^ 8 tails. 

Mr. Planch^ states, on the authority of TJredius, where 
however it is not to be found, that the Countess of 
Boulogne, wife of Stephen King of England, bore three 
ROUNDELS or torteaux ; of the king himself he says " We 
have no memorial to indicate what arms he displayed, 
although it is probable that heraldry advanced consider- 
.ably during the reign of that chivalrous sovereign." 

A notable instance occurs at this period, viz. the reign 
of Stephen, in the seal of Gilbert de Clare, the first Earl 
of Pembroke, who died 1148, which is engraved in Mr. 
Planch^'s work, where it is represented as a number of 
bars parallel with the top bf the shield, only half of the 
latter being visible. Now in the sketch in Lansd. MSS. 
203, these stripes are not drawn parallel with the shield, 
but in the form that chevrons would assume when seen 
on half only of its surface. Even if the MS. copy should 
have been unfaithfully rendered, we have fortunately a 
case that assists us to form a judgment of "what is in- 
tended, and thus destroys the inference Mr. Planche 
draws, that the father (Gilbert) bore Barry, and the son 
(Eichard) chevronny. In Uredius's work (p. 23) there 
is engraven a seal of Baldwin Earl of Flanders and 
Hainault, of the date 1192, containing 3 bars nearly 
parallel with the top of the shield, only half being 
visible ; but on the secretum^ is a warrior on horseback, 
and on his shield 2 unmistakeable chevrons. Here the 
engraver seems to have made a double mistake, for not 
long after, viz. 1211, occurs another seal of the " Comes 
Hainee " on which are displayed clearly three chevrons, 
doubtless the original and true charge. The seal of 
Eichard the son and heir of Gilbert de Clare, and who 
died 1176, contains three chevrons {vide Journ. of Arch. 
Assoc. X. 266.) 

Another seal temp. Stephen, that will next engage our 
notice, along with two others of the same family, in the 
same century, is calculated to give us some insight as to 



the variations of armorial bearings at this period, and 
establishes their hereditary character. Mr. Wiffen, in 
his Memoirs of the Early Bmsells^ p. 75 says " I have in 
my possession a fine seal in green wax of Roger de 
Conyers of the time of King Stephen, with the device of 
a MATJNCHE in bold relief, surrounded by seven cross cross- 
lets the hand holding a spear -head or ajleur de lis, around 
which is the legend "Sigillum Eogeri de Conneris." 
This was evidently the Eoger de Conyers who in Mr. 
Surtees' pedigree (Hist, of Durham, iii. 247) is stated to 
have been a Baron of the Bishoprick of Durham, and 
living 1143-74. In M. D'Anisy's Atlas of Seals ofvthe 
12th century, is one of William de Cosneres, viz. an arm 
in a SLEEVE holding a fleur de lis, the crosslet being 
omitted ; and another of Thomas de Cosneris, viz. an arm 
in a SLEEVE, 0/2 the sleeve 2 cross crosslets^ and 4 in the 
field^ the fleur de lis being omitted here. These two 
persons do not occur in Mr. Surtees' pedigree. 

A seal of Eichard de Lucy, attached to a deed, and 
drawn in Lansd. MSS. 203, displays a large fish in 
fess. The witnesses are Eustach. fil Eegis(qui ob. 1153) 
Godefridus de Lucy, Eeginald his brother, etc.* A 
confirmation of these armes parlantes occurs in the seal 
of Fulbert de Dover c. 1180, being chequy, over all a 
PISH or luce in pale. Fulbert married the daughter and 
heiress of Geffiry de Lucy. 

Sandford (p. 47) quotes a Charter of Eatiulph Earl 
OF Chester, who died 1155, on the seal of which is a 
LION rampant on a shield. He married Maud, daughter 
of Eobert Earl of Gloucester, the King's natural son, 
whom Mr. Planche supposes to have been the source of 
this bearing. 

One of the most important seals of this period is that 
of Waleran Earl of Mellent, containing a shield 
CHEQUY ;"f because by unimpeachable reasoning based 

* Engraven in ArchdBologia Cantiana, iv. 214. 

t There are two seals of his : one sketched in Lansd. MSS. 203 aa 
that of " Waleran Comes Mellent*' chequy being on his shield and 
surcoat : another engraved in Watson's Earh of Surrey with the 
legend " Waleranni Comitis Wigomise" with chequy on his banner 



on a well-proven pedigree, it can be traced up to the 
Conquest on the one hand, and on the other, downwards 
through several families, thus showing by an instructive 
example, how and why certain ensigns were assumed at an 
early period. The following tabular pedigree will show 
this in detail, and proves, as in many other instances, that 
it was customary to take the arms of the wife, though 
no heiress, if of superior rank ; and the high honour in 
which this chequy coat was held is evidenced by its being 
adopted by families themselves of no mean rank. 

Hugh the Great, Earl ofc Vermandois,=-4<fo/A^t^, daughter and heiress of Her- 

jure tix, brother of Philip King of ' 


Robert de= Isabel 
Earl of 
and Leices- 
ter, ob. 

bert, Count of Vermandois. 

(mention8=William Earl 

in a deed Waler- 
an, Earl of Mel- 
lent her son : 
(Watson, i. 108) 
ob. Feb. 13, 

of Warren, 
ob. May 11, 

MatiIda=Raoul Lord of Beaugen- 
xfvcy (Ord. Vitalis, ii. 483) 
a Crusader, 1096 (bore 
on his seal CHEQUY 
and afess ut ante^ the co- 
lours of the first being 
or and azure and of the 
second gules as borne by 
his descendants.) 

Waleran Earl of Me- Eobert de Beaumont 
lent and Worcester, (Bossu) ob. 1168. 
bore CHEQUY as on ~ 

his seals in the j;ext. 
Ob. 1166. 


'Robert Earl of Mel- 
lent and Lord of 

3rd Earl 
of War- 


Gundrada ux. Roger de 
Newburgh Earl of 
Warwick, who died 
18 Steph. 


His descendants bore 
CHEQUY or and 
gules (Roque — Kist. 
de la Maieon de 
Har court). 

Robert " de Bri- 
toHo*' Blanch- 
mains, Earl of 
Leicester. On 
his secretum 
chols* Leic. i. 
97). ' 


Isabel daugh- 
ter and heiress 
married 1163 
who bore on 
his shield an 

William de Warren 6th Eaxl of Warren. 

John 7th Earl of Warren bore at the siege 
of Caerlaverock a banner CHEQUY or and 
azure : \ 

John his grandson and 8th and last Earl 
bore an ESCARBUNCLE as a crest on his 
seal, and CHEQUY on his shield. 

Agnes ux. Geflfry Waleran 
de Clinton, who ob. 1206. 
was living 1166. 

Some of his de- 
scendants bore 
and azure a chief 

Henry de Newburgh, son and 
heir, ob. 1229. 

Thomas de Newburgh, 8th Earl 
of Warwick, ob. 1242 s. p. 
Bore CHEQUY or and azure a 
chevroti ermine. (Glover's Roll 
of Arms, 1240-6.) 

♦ The escarbuncle was put up as the arms of his father Geffry Count of Anjou 
on the cornice of the tomb of Queen Elizabeth in Henry the Seventh's Chapel in 
Westminster Abbey (Sandford's Genealogical Hist. p. 34). 

N 2 


I I 

Hugh Count of Vennandois. Philip King of France. 

Eudolph I. Count of Ver- Robert Count of Dreux, received from his brother 

mandois. I King Louis the town and county of Dreux, Chailly, 

I etc. 1184-8. 
Eudolph n. Count of Ver- | 

maudois ob. s. p. After his Peter de Dreux Duke of Brittany /wr^ ux. 1230, 

death and that of his two sis- and Earl of Bichmond. 

ters the County of Vennandois _ I 

~ D 

was annexed to the Crown of John de Dreux, ob. 1286. 

John de Dreux, ob. 1306. 

France, I 


John de i)reux, ob. 1334 s. p. bore according to 
the Roll of Caerlaverock CHEQUY a Canton er- 
mine (for the Dukedom of Brittany) and a bordure 
of lions passant in memory of his mother Beatrix, 
daughter of Henry III. of England. 

ThoTigli no chequy or other armorial seal of the War- 
rens is to be met with in the 12 th century, Mr. Planch^ in 
this case relaxes his rigorous rule of distrusting any coat 
• of arms for which there is no contemporary authority, 
by granting that " probabilities are certainly in favour 
of it (the chequy) having been assumed by the Warrens 
in consequence of that alliance" (viz. Vermandois) (p. 61). 
This implies that Hugh the Great, living at the Conquest, 
bore that coat, and moreover that he got it, as well as his 
title, from his father-in-law. And the seal of Eaoul de 
Beaugency is ''confirmation strong" of this necessary 
inference. Mr. Montagu, in his work before quoted, 
assigns to Hugh the Great the coat of chequy with a chief ^ 
of Jleurs de lis. The preceding table shows the tenacity 
of the families who took the chequy bearing to the 
colours blue and gold, differencing their arms with divers 
brizures : the only exception appears in the case of the 
descendants of the Earl of Mellent, who took the colours 
gold and red, and made no other difference. 

On the tower of Harpley church, co. Norfolk, (engraved 
in Becords of the Houm of Gournay) is a shield chequy 
over all a large crescent charged with 3 cinqfoils. Re- 
ginald son of William de Warren and Isabel Vennan- 
dois had a son William lord of Wormgay, who died 1208, 
and whose daughter and heiress married Drouyn Bar- 
DOLPH, who may be considered the bearer of the above 
shield, combining his paternal cinqfoils, with the arms of 



Warren, and with the cognizance (the crescent) of per- 
haps the house of Wormgay, — a triple union of bearings 
of a somewhat unique character at this early era. 

The following pedigree embodies further instances of 
armorial seals during the 12th century, and exemplifies 
the same principle of adoption, as in the case of the 
device of chequy just treated : — 

Henry I. bore A LION a^ a badge ante 1127 (PlanchI). 


Robert ,Earl of Glou- =Mabel Fitz Reginald Earl 

cester jure ux. ob. 1147. 


of Cornwall, 
ob. 1176. 


Baldwin Earl of Devon= 
bore A GtaFFIN on 
his seal, ob. 1155. 

William Con- Maud nx. Ra- 4 Richard 

sul Earl of nulph Earl of de Than 

Glamorgan Chester, qui lord of 

andGlouces- ob. 1166: Creuilly 

ter, UON UON ram- and Car- 

pasaant gtiard, pant on his difif. 

on seal, ob. seaL 
1173 or 1182. 

dau. & 


'Richard de Red- 
vers Earl of De- 
von, ob. 1162; 
bore on his seals 
and a LION 


Earl of 
ob. 1217, 
bore a 
FIN on 
his seal. 

" Roger de Creuilly fils de Richard fils du Comte Richard de Redvers, Earl 

de Gloucester" grants land to Abbey of Ar- of Devon, ob. 1184 ; bore 

dennes : on his seal as " Sig. Roger de Glou- on his seals a GRIFFIN 

cester" 3 leopards or LIONS passant. and a LION rampant. 

Baldwin de Rivers — Margaret daughter and heiress of Warin Fitz Gerold ; remar. 
ob. V. p. 1216. Fulke de Brent, whose femily bore a GRIFFIN. 

Baldwin de Rivers Earl of Devon and of Isle of Wight, ob. 1246, LION ram-== 
pant on seal. Comte de I'lsle de Wight bore or a LION rampant azure* (Roll 
of Arms 1240-6). 


Isabel daughter and heiress — William de Fortibus ob. 1260 : on his seal a croaa^ 

patie impaling a LION rampant. 



Henry de Percy Ingeiram de Percy ob. s. p. 1 262. ^=Aveline daughter and heiress. 

Sir Henry de Percy ob. 131S. Bore or A LION rampant azwt (Roll of Arms 
t Edw. n.) 

Mr. Planche admits that the lion here may be traced 

* These arms occur in tlie EoU of Edw. ll. as those of the Earl 
of Devon amongst the " Armes abatues." 


up to the Kon of Henry I. before 1127 wliicli he calls 
his " badge or cognizance." He does not give any en- 
graving of this badge, nor state where it is to be met 
with, but it is to be presumed, it is of a Hon passant on 
a roundel, like William of Gloucester's. Eanulph Earl of 
Chester's lion rampant was doubtless from the same 
source as that of his brother-in-law William of Gloucester, 
and so evidently was the lion rampant of the Earls of 
Devon. That the difference of posture of the lion was 
owing to the form of the seal, there can be no doubt. 
On a seal of William Earl of Albini, a.d. 1170, a lion ram- 
pant is seen on his shield, but on his secretum which is 
circular, a ]ioi[i. passant is delineated, and not placed on a 
shield. And such variations are seen even in the 13th 
century. This variation of attitude is clearly an act of 
the seal engraver, and does not justify, in the case of the 
absence of the shield, the designation simply of a badge 
or cognizance, as opposed to and something different from 
a ^^ regular heraldic bearing." The same observation 
appUes to the griffins, which as we see were borne suc- 
cessively by three generations of the De Elvers; and 
are as essentially hereditary family emblems as the 
chequy of De Warren or the maunche of Conyers. But 
the best proof that whether an heraldic emblem is placed 
on a circular seal or on a shield, its character as such is 
unaffected, is afforded by the remarkable seal of Eoger 
of Gloucester, grandson of the king's son and Mabel, 
which contains 3 lions or leopards passant, not on a 
shield, but in the area of a circular seal.* ( Vide Plate.) 
Another well-known case of the bearing of the royal 
lion, but in the plural number, occurs on the celebrated 
monument of Geffiry Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, in 
the church of St. Julien at Mans (engraved in Stothard's 
Monumental Effigies) where his shield exhibits ^golden 
lions or leopards rampant on an azure field. The monk 
of Marmoutier, writing of his marriage with Matilda 
daughter of Henry I., thus speaks of these armorial 
bearings : " Clypeus leunculos aureos imaginarios habens 
collo ejus suspenditur ; " and subsequently describing a 

* D'Anisy — Atloi des Sceaua:. 


combat of this prince, "pictos leones preeferens in cly- 
peo, veris leonibus nulla erat inferior fortitude."* This 
coat, being identical with that borne by the family of 
Longespee, is generally considered its original, as Wilfiam 
Longesp^e, on whose monument it is found was grand- 
son of this same GeoflErey. But this notion Mr. Planche 
controverts in a paper on the subject in the 1st vol. of 
the Journal of the Arc1i(Bological Association^ on grounds 
however that do not seem very satisfactory ; and he con- 
siders the bearings in question to be the ensigns of the 
old Earls of Salisbury, whose heiress Ela, "WiUiam Long- 
espee married. There seem some reasons however for 
this latter position which did not occur to Mr. Planche 
but which I will state. 

The 6 lions rampant on the seal of De Bohtjn Earl of 
Hereford are said to be the lions of Salisbury, i. e. of the 
Longespees Earls of Salisbury. But the relationship of 
the De Bohuns, Earls of Hereford to them, was very 
distant being that of fourth or fifth cousins. Such a de- 
rivation, therefore, is out of the question, as quite out of 
the pale within which arms from collateral sources are 
supposed to have been adopted. But that they were 
taken on the marriage of Humphrey de Bohun with the 
daughter of Edward of Salisbury, the Domesday pro- 
genitor of Ela, there can be little doubt, for there seems 
no other match that could have originated them. These 
6 lions then must have been borne by Edward of Salis- 
bury at the Conquest, and that they were is confirmed 
by the fact that Sir Eoger *de Leybume bore 6 lioncels 
(according to the roll of Hen. III. 1240-5) who was 
great grandson of Philip de Leybume, who married 
Amy sister and coh. of Ealph Fitz Gerold, who though 
not found in the pedigree was doubtless a member of the 
house of Fitz Gerold, descended from Girold Dapifer, 
brother or tuicle of Edward of Salisbury. According to 
the full pedigree of Longespee in Bowles' and Nichols' 
" Lacock Abbey," there is no match of Leybume with 
any lady of that family. Therefore we must seek else- 
where for their 6 lions ; and that they were adopted as 

* Menestrier — Origine des Armoiries, 


early as the match with Amy Fitz-Gerold seems pro- 
bable, because several other Kentish families in the Roll 
of Edw. II. bear them, who, there are reasons for think- 
ing, got them through the Leybumes. 

Mr, Planche justly remarks that a great heiress like 
Ela of Salisbury would, in conformity with the general 
practice, require her armorial ensigns to be borne by her 
husband ; and though that husband was of royal blood, 
it is probable in the case before us, that he did so. And 
there was a similar and contemporary case in point, in 
that of Hamelin Plantagenet, a natural son of Geofl&y of 
Anjou, and therefore brother of Henry II., who proba- 
bly himself, and certainly his male descendants, bore the 
chequy coat of Warren on marriage of the heiress of the 
Earls of that name. Still there seems to be strong and 
almost insurmountable evidence that the monument at 
Mans is that of Geofl6y Count of Anjou; the word 
^^princeps^^ occurring in the inscription over it could 
apply only to him, and the "leunculos aureos" of the 
monk of Marmoutier before quoted are expressly men- 
tioned as being on his shield* It appears at present 
until the subject can be elucidated by new sources of in- 
formation, to exhibit a remarkable case of coincidence 
without being one of identity. 

The following abridged pedigree will assist in the 
comprehension of the genealogy of the subject, and em- 
bodies the blazon of the seals of various persons men- 
tioned in it : — 


Qeoffrey Plantagenet Count of Anjou ob. 1151: boTe=Matilda daughter of 

" golden lions" and azute 6 LlONCELS or on his 
Tomb at Mans. 

Henry I. mar. 1122, 
ob. 1167. 

I I ■ I I ■ ■ ■ I ■■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ I ■ ■ I ■! ■ ,. ■■■■ I W ■III III ■ ■■ ^.IM ■■ ^1 ./>/>^W^^ 

Willieimus frater Eegis H. AnglisB in Henry II. King Hamelin Plantagenet 

a charter to Kogero de Hamton a pin- of England, Earl jure ux. Earl of War- 

cemo meo seals with a LION RAM- of Anjou ob. 1189* ren and Surrey : on a 

PANT on a shield. (Glover's Char- Ko arms on his shield on his seal, an 

ters : Harl. MSS. 246, p. 154.) seals. = ESCABBUNCLK 

"William Longesp^e Earl of Salisbury,=Ela daughter and heiress of William Earl 
ob. 122f ; left several sons. On his s^ of Salisbury, bom 1188, mar. 1198. Ab- 
6 LIO> S rampant, also on his effigy bess of Lacock 1240, ob. 1261. On her 
in Salisbury Cathedral. seal 6 LIONS rampant, 








a ux. Thomas de Newburgh* William Longesp^e: 

Earl of Warwick, and of Phi- Earl of SaUsbury 

lip Basset. On her seal 3 ob. 1250 az. 6 LI- 

shields : 1. CHEQUY and a ONCELS or (Roll 

chevron. 2. 6 LIONS rampant, of Arms 1240-5). 
3. BARRY undt/. 

Sir Stephen Longesp6e 
ob. 1260 — Seal 6 lions 
rampant and label of 4 
points. Bore azure 6 LI- 
ONCELS <»•, a label ffules 
(Roll of Anns 1240-5). 

William =Matilda daughter and heiress of Walter Lord Clifford. On her seal 


2 shields: I. CB:EQVY and a landlet. 2. 6 lAO'i^S rampant. 

Margaret Countess of Salisbury ux. Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln. 

Amicia=T=Girold Dapifer^Albereda Ralph 

Robert fil. Geroldi Domesday Edward of Salisbury 1086-1 119==Widow 1131. 
Tenant. Sheriff. 


Ralph Amy sister and coheiress ux. Philip Walter of Sa-=f=Sibilla. 

¥itz de Leybume, whose great grandson lisbury son of 

G^erold. Sir Roger de Leybume bore azure Edward vice 

6 LIONCELS arff. (Roll of Arms, comitis 1131. 


Patrick Earl of Salisbury 
ob. 1168. 

_l ■ 
William Earl of Salisbury. 


ux. Hum- 
phry de 
Bohun qui 
ob. 1131. 



Humphry de Bohun married Margaret 
daughter and coheiress of Milo Earl of 
Hereford who is supposed to have borne 
two bends, a quo Humphry Db Bohun who 
bore a bend arg. eottised or between 6 LIONS 
rampant or and a label gules (Roll of Arms 

daughter and heiress ux. William Longesp6e ; bore on her seal 6 LIONS. 

In the Topographer and Genealogist (part iv.) there is 
an armorial seal, which traced to a probable origin, is 
calculated to elucidate some genealogical difficulties, and 
to account for the adoption of some similar bearings. 
This is the chevront coat of Eohais, the Countess of 
Lincoln whose parentage remains undiscovered. We 
have already had sufficient proofs that arms even in the 
12th century were not a matter of " capricious assump- 
tion." This device therefore of the Countess may be 
safely presumed to have belonged to some near relative 
or to have been the ensign of the dignity with which 
she was invested. That however it appertained to the 


ancient earldom of Lincoln there seems no reason to sup- 
pose. But if we assume (in case it is not yet considered 
established) that arms were borne at the Conquest, the 
subjoined table* will show, consistently with what we 
have already found to have been the practice, that if 
Hugh Lupus bore chevrons, and Balph who married his 
sister and heir adopted her arms, Hugh her son would 
likewise bear them ; and on the supposition (which is not 
only allowable, but most readily satisfies the require- 
ment of the case, viz. to show that Kohais was niece of 
Eanulph the Earl, son of Lucy) that the said Hugh was 
father of Eohais, then the seal of the latter is accounted 
for, and her parentage ascertained. And this theory is 
further supported by the fact of the baronial family of 
Abrincis bearing 5 chevrons. 

Brothers Ricnard D* Avraiiches=ETnina de CJonteville daugl^ter of 

William de Abrin- o'-^^^cis. Harlotta, mother of Will. I. 

cis a Domesday 

Tenant in capite I I 

whose descendants Hugh (Lupus) D' Abrincis Maud sister=Ralph de Mes- 
bore 5 CHEVRONS. ^^^ ^^ Chester, ob. 1101. and heiress. ] chines Vise, of 

the Bessin. 

Robert de Romara great=sLucy daughter of==Ranulph de M. Hugh=Matilda 

grandfather of William 
de Romara, who bore 
7 MA8CLES croisettd 
on his seal. 

Algar Earl of 
Chester and sister 
of Morcar, Earl 
of Lincoln. 

2nd Earl of 1131. daughter 

Chester, of Coun- 

ob. 1128. tess Lucy. 

Matilda daughter of Countess Lucy ux. Ranulph de Gemons Earl of Chester, 
Hugh, brother of Earl of Chester. ob. 1163.=f= 

, ] J 

Rohais niece of Ranulph de Gemons Earl of Ches-=G-ilbert de Gunt Earl of Line, 
ter : mar. circ. 1142 : Seals with 6 CHEVRONS 
after 1156. 

jure ux. ob. 1166. 

Alice ux. Simon de St. Liz, Earl of Huntingdon. Her seal is also 6 CHEVRONS. 

There are two shields of arms that may be here men- 
tioned, which although not found on seals are derived 

* The authorities for it are Ormerod, Miscellanea Palatina, App. 
p. ; Collect. Top. and Gen. vii. 381, viii. 156 ; Topog. and Gen. : 
D'Anisy, JRecherches sur le Domesday ^ etc. 

TiATExy. '^Inwiront^eate. (1150 -1200.) 

I©® ©I 


IQ O Ol 

^^^| (^^g^ 

p.o.Qiisaffli jUUUj 


from equal authority. Gulielmus Brito, author of the 
Latin poem on the exploits of Philip Augustus called 
the "Phillipeis" (book iii.) describes Eichard Cceur de 
Lion while Count of Poitou as being recognized by his 
antagonist, William de Barr, by the " lions grinning on 
his shield ; " and also the swallows borne by an ancestor 
of the family of Arundel, and which his descendants 
have since borne. 

Ecce comes Pictavus, agro noa provocat, ecce, 
Nos ad bella vocat ; rictus agnosco Leonum 
Illius in clypeo ***** 
* * HirundeliB velocior alite, quce 
Dat hoc agnomen ^\fert cujus in agide signum,* 

Another of the few instances in which armorial bear- 
ings are mentioned in books of this period occurs in 
Giraldus Cambrensis, who in his account of the Conquest 
of Ireland (p. 278 Bohn's ed.) says John de Courcy bore 
on his shield the blazon of Tliree birds. This is an inci- 
dental allusion like the foregoing, and nothing is said of 
its being an exceptional practice. At p. 274 of the same 
work the author says " Fitz Adelm seeing Eaymond sur- 
rounded by so gallant a band and beholding Meylor and 
his other brothers and kinsmen to the number of thirty, 
mounted on noble steeds in bright armour, and all having 
the same device on their shields, etc." Meyler was son of 
Henry, an illegitimate son of Henry I., and he and his 
kinsmen probably bore the royal lion on their shields in 
different tinctures and with differences ; the substantial 
fact of the same charge being borne by all justifying the 
description of the writer as the " same device." 

The following are from Du Chesne's Histoire de la 
Maison de Guisnes'' (fol. Paris, 1631): 

P. 101. Vaire and a bendlet : legend, "Sigill. Willi 
fr'ris Comitis de Guisnes." 

P. 225. A charter of 1164 of Theodoric de Alost has 
a seal, a man on horseback, on his shield a bordure and a 
CHIEF, being the arms of Gand. At p. 496, date 1231, 
a chief occurs on a seal of De Housdain. 

* Pictorial Hist, of England, i. 641. 


Du Bouchet in his Histoire de la Maison de Court enay 
gives the following early seals :— 

"Prenves,'^ P. 14 (1210) Peter Comes Antisiodensis : 
a shield with 3 Torteaux or Eounbels, on an escutcheon 
of pretence ^fleurs de lis. On another 1199, 3 Boundeh 
only. P. 26 (1208) Eobertus de Cortiniaco, no arms on 
shield. P. 31 (1231) the same, on a shield, 3 roundels 
and a label of 5 points. 

But the most interesting and abundant collection of 
early seals remains yet to be examined. This is contained 
in the Memoires de la Societe des Antiguaires de Normandie 
in a thin atlas,* and is accompanied by two volumes of a 
catalogue of the charters to which they were found at- 
tached. The following are of the 12 th century : 

Nigel de Molbrai : an equestrian figure, on the shield, 
a rude approximation to the escarbuncle, but as it resem- 
bles the figures on so many shields of the period, it is 
probably intended to represent the external appearance 
or construction of the shield supposed to have given rise 
to the heraldic escarbuncle, and somewhat resembling, 
but not so ornamental, the ornamented fastenings on the 
shield of Geoifry of Anjou as engraved in Stothard's 
Monumental Effigies. 

Eichard de Humetto : semee of mullets. 

Hugo de Garcesale : 2 or 3 chevrons. 

" Sigillum Willielmi filii Johannis," not equestrian, a 
large seal, on a shield, 3 bends, between each a bendlet 

" Sigill. Matthew de Beaumio : " not equestrian, 5 


Eobert de Gouviz : vaire, a bendlet.^ 

" Sigill. Hugonis Garini : '^ a bend (not bendlet) be- 
tween 3 shells^ one in sinister chief, 2 in dexter base. 

" Sigill. Eadulfi de Perteville : " a bend, on either 
side a cinqfoil and a key. 

* By M. D'Anisy, tlie learned author of BechercTies sur le Domes- 

\ To a charter s. d. of Brian de Gouiz, dominus de Kingsdon, is 
attached a similar seal, viz. vaire, a bend lozengy (Coll. Top. and 
Gen. vii. 324.) 

TLATS-xn^ '3ntB fiwa-^eak. (115012W. 


Eobert de Ners : barry of 6, 3 bars charged respec- 
tively with 6, 5, & 3 spindles. 

Sigill. William de Bukloth : a lion rampant 

Sigill. William de Lambertville : 3 lions rampant. 

Sigill. William Bacon : 6 roses, 3, 2, 1. 

Sigill. Eoberti L' Angevin : a lion rampant 

The following are of the 12 th or 13 th century : — 

Sig. Johanne de Hosa : on a roundel, a leg couped at 
the thiffh^ with a spur on the foot. 

Agnes fille de Michel de Fontenay : a roundel, a lion 
passant reguardant^ in sinister chief, a boars head. 

Sig. Jeanne dame de Carouges : Gtronny (j/* 8 on a 

Sig. d' Adele L'Arbalistiere : a Crossbow on a roundel. 

Contrescel of Mathilde de Creverville : 13 annulets on 
a shield, 4, 4, 3, 2. 

The following are of the 13th century, and are h^re 
given chiefly on account of their peculiarity : — 

Simon de Pellev^ : equestrian, on a shield, Semee of 


Eobert de Longvillers : equestrian, apparently a pale 
on a shield. Some of the shields of the equestrian figures 
at this period are quite plain; amongst them those of 
Eobert Marmion and Hugh Gurnay. 

William de Courcy: equestrian, on shield and hous* 
ings, ERETTY, also on counter-seal. 

Ivo de Vieuxpont : equestrian, 9 annulets, 3, 3, 2, 1, 
on seal and counterseal. 

Henri Marechal, seigneur de Say : equestrian, on a 
shield a cross moline debruised by a baton sinister : the 
same on the secretum, 

Jean de Harecurt : equestrian, on a shield, also on the 
secretum, 2 bars. 

Eobert de Tancarville : equestrian, on a shield, an 
escutcheon and an orle of sexfoils ; also on the secretum* 

Jean Mallet : equestrian, on a shield 3 buckles ; also 
on the secretum. 

Eobert de Fraines : 3 T. 

Olivier de Lyre : a roundel, on a shield, lozengt and 
a label of 5 points ^ 


The following are all roundels, some containing a 
shield : — 

Eoger de Hyesmes : lion rampant, 

Philip de Longueville : stag passant to the sinister. 

Jean de Lacele : a crescent on a shield with a narrow 

Mathew de Hyesmes : an eagle. 

Herbert de la Porta : 3 bars. 

Maurice de Caen : on an oval, a horse trotting. 

William de Sallenelles : a chief (or per fesse) dancette. 

Eaoul de Giberville : the whole shield covered with a 
large label of 5 points of unequal length, the centre 
being the longest. 

JeflFry Jugouf : a chevron. 

Kobert de Tessell : 2 lioisq passant to sinister. 

Eobert Hareng : a herring in fess. 

Adam de St. Silvain : a bend vaire between 4 escallops^ 

2 and 2 ; secretum, a horse passant. 

Eobert de St. Martin : a lion or leopard passant to the 

Jean de Brucourt : 4 bars, between them 10 fleurs de 
lis, 3 and 2 alternately. 

Eoger de Fresnay : 3 bars, between them, 6 roundels^ 
3, 2, 1. 

Eoger Marmion : a flower. 

Eichard Bacun : 4 bars on a shield. 

Sir Fulke D'Aunay : a fess between 4 eagles, 2 and 2. 

Eoger de Eupera : 12 martlets in 12 quarters. 

Jean de Giroune, chevalier : a fess between 4 roundels 

3 and 1. 

JeflEry de Brucourt, miles : 3 fleurs De lis and a label 
of 3 points on a shield. 

Eobert D'Ailly : lozengy, a chief. 

Nicholas de St. Germain: 2 labels of 5 points one 
above the other. 

William de Molines : a cross moline. 

Eenaud Malherbe : 6 quatrefoils, 3, 2, and 1. 

Engerrand de Humeto : 3 bars between 6 roundels 3, 
2, and 1. 

Eichard de Longvillers : a pale on a shield. 


Eichard de Courcy, chevalier : 6 billets, 3, 2, and 1. 

Robert de Bray, knt. : paly of 6 on « chief, a lion 

William de Eupibns, seneschal of Angers : a bend fo- 
zengy and a label. 

Eaoul de Tancarville : an escutcheon and an orle of 


Some of the above are most anomalous coats, and yet 
occur at a period when it is admitted that the science of 
heraldry was fiilly established. From what we know of 
English armory in this century, there certainly appears 
more uniformity and regularity than amongst the Nor- 
mans after the separation from England : some of the 
anomalies are perhaps due to the artists, but that they 
were not con&ied to Normandy will be seen by the 
ensuing catalogue, which is taken from the numerous 
plates of seals at the end of Lobineau's Histoire de Bre- 
tagne (2 vols. fol. 1707.) 

Juhel de Mayenne, seigneur de Dinan, 1197 : on 6 
ESCOTCHEONS 6 MULLETS Mullets pierced of 6 points. 

Dreu de Mellot, 1197 : 2 bars and 3 martlets.* 

Pierre de Bain, 1199 : lozengy, on a shield in a 

Asculf de Solign^ : quarterly. 

Tseult [Isolda] de Dol, fern me d' Asculf de Soligne 
circ. 1210 : quarterlf. 

Alan le jeune de Eohan : a bend. 

Geoifry, vicomte de Kohan, 1222 : 7 mascles ; another, 
1216, a LION rampant; counterseal, the same with a bor- 
dure undy. 

Eon de Pontchastneau, 1189 : 3 crescents ; another, 
1200, 3 crescents and a chiefs over all a cross Jleur de 
lisee, in the centre a rose. 

Aimery de Thenars, 1214 : on a shield, an escotcheon 
of pretence, an orle of martlets and a canton. 

* Sir Dreux de Mellot was lord of Mayenne in right of his wife 
Isabella eld. d. and coh. of Juhel III. lord of Mayenne. To a 
charter of his, 1237, is a seal of 2 hws between (? 6) 6iW», to which 
a label of 4 points is added on a seal of 1219 (Coll. Top. and Q-en. 
vi. 286). 


William de Fougeres : ♦ 3 fern leaves occupying a 
large shield. 

Eualand Goion, 1218 : 4 bars, on the first, a label oi 5 

Gnillanme de Montfort, 1230 : on his shield a pair 
OF shears ; on his large counterseal, the same, and the 
letters A. M. 

Eaonl D'Aubigne : 4 fusils. 

Guillaume D'Aubigne, 1200 : 4 fusils, 3 roundels in 
chief, and 3 in base. 

Eolland de Hillion, 1276 : a bend. 

Olivier Elie or Helto, 1276 : in a quatrefoil, a cross 
crosslet between 2 birds and 2 stars; legend, "Seel 
Olivier Helto." 

Eolland de Dinan, 1276 : 3 fusils ermine^ 4 roundels 
ermine in chief and 3 in base. 

Geoffiy de Dinan, 1298 : 3 fusils, 4 roundels in chief 
and 2 in base. 

Jean de Maure, 1298 : a crescent vaire. 

I shall now bring this considerable list of early anno- 
rial seals to a close, by a miscellaneous collection of 
English arms during the 12th century, or not extending 
far into the next. Further research would doubtless 
discover many more, but an investigation for the pur- 
pose is often almost fruitless, whilst a desultory examin- 
ation of books and MSS. is as often unexpectedly re- 
warded with success. 

Eobert de Tateshall, temp. Hen. II,, CHEQxnr, a chief 

Hasculfus Musard, dead 31 Hen. II., 3 annulets. 
Ealph M. his son, the same (Lansd. MSS. 306 P. 76). 

Gervase Paganell, temp. Hen. II., 2 Lioi^s passantl 

* On the shield of Wm. de Fougeres 1200, is a branch of fern 
debruised by a bend, a star of 6 points on each side of the shield, 
one of the badges of the House of Anjou and seen on several of 
the seals of the English Kings. (Mr. Planch^ — Arch. Journal, vi. 

t Dugdale's Baronage. The heiress of Tateshall married Cailli, 
and the heiress of CailH Clifton, both of which families also bore this 

X Dugdale's Monasticon. 

. RoHBRT DB St. John, c. 

3. HiCHABL DB Cantelu, eirea 1200. 


i. GEPPUlt SB Bailbdl, eirta 1200. 5. William de Hetrf, Hrea 1200. 



Hubert de Anesty, son of Eichard de A. both Kving 
7 Eich. I. : on a counterseal to a deed of that date, a 


Hugh de Chaucombe, 7 John : fretty, in chief a 
crescent between 2 stars,^ 

Sir Alan Fitz Brian ob. 1190 : equestrian seal with 
legend " Sig. Alani fil. Briani," on slueld and housings, 

3 BARS4 

Henry Earl of Eu, living temp. Hen. II. and Eich. I. : 
equestrian, on a shield partly visible, a chief charged 
with 2 or 3 mullets, a well executed seal.§ 

Sir Adam de Bendenges (son and heir of William de 
Bendenges, one of the Justiciars of Henry II.) ob. 1229 : 
a well executed seal, not equestrian, 3 bars, legend 
" Sig. Ade de Betneggis." || 

Peter fitz Herbert, ob. 1235 : 3 lions rampant (Lansd. 
MSS. 203.) 

Eobert de Crevequer, attached to a deed prior to 10 
Eich. I. : equestrian, on the shield, 3 fleurs de lis.** 

John de Ardeme : 3 garbs on a seal attached to a deed 

dated 1209^ 

Odo Bumard, temp. Eic. I. : a roundel, on a shield 3 

Peter de Scotney, temp. John : round seal, on a shield, 
on a bend cottised 4 bUletSy a bordure indented^ legend 
" Sigillum Petri de Scotenie."§§ 

Hamo de Gattun, c. 1200 : chequt : on the secretum 
a chief chequy. ||| 

Eobert de St. John. On a circular seal, within the 
legend (S. Eoberti Scti. Johannis) on a roundel not on a 
shield 3 buckles each of different form, a beautifully en- 

* ManniDg's and Bray's Surrey, ii. 267. 
t Madox's Formulare Angliccmum, p. 351. 
% Qtile's Beg. Hon. de Eicliinond, App. p. 105. 
§ Suss. Arcn. Collections xiii. 133 ; also Moss, Hist, of Hastings. 
I Archeeologia Cantiana v. 217. 
** Streatfeild's Excerpta Cantiana. 
tt Engraved in Top. and Gen. i. 215. 
XX Engraved in Coll. top. and Gen. vi. 210. 
. §§ Engraved in Coll. Top. and Gen. vi. 106, 
I II ArchsBologia Cantiana iv. 219 and v. 222. 



graved seal* [Walter de St. John in a Roll of Arms of 
tlie ISth century has assigned to him (No. 163) d^ azure 
troia fermatix d'or ; Archceologia vol. xxxix.] 

William son of Walter de Hevre, c. 1200 : on a shield 
a chief "EBMmE.^ 

Michael de Cantelu, c. 1200: on a shield vaibe or 

Geoffiy de Baileul, c. 1200 : on a shield a ceoss mo- 
LiNE and ^ fieurs de Izs^ one within each angle of the 
cross and onei against each end of it.§ [This Geffry does 
not occur in the pedigree in Surtees' Durham (iv. 60.) 
The arms of Baliol as generally borne were an orle. In 
Blakiston church, co. Durham, the arms of Baliol an 
orle debruised hy a bend co-exist with another coat the 
basis of that of the seal viz. a cross moline which is at- 
tributed to Fulthorp. See ArchcBologicalJournal^ xii. 148. 
This is an instance of a cadet relinquishing the paternal 
coat and taking that of another fanuly, probably through 
marriage. Another example of this occurs in the nelt 

William de Veteriponte, temp. John or Hen. III. : on 
a shield 3 lions rampant^ a star in the fess point and 2 
stars outside the slueld: secretum 2 demi lions com- 
batant on a roundel.jl The arms of the Baronial family 
of Vipont were 3 or 6 annulets. 

The following are from Seton's Heraldry in Scotland: — 

Gilbert Earl of Strathem, c. 1198 : 9 billets on a shield. 

Patrick Dunbar 5th Earl of March, c. 1200 : a liok 
rampant on a shield. 

Eobert Croc, c. 1200 : 3 crooks. 

Sir Alexander Seton c. 1216 : 3 crescents and a label. 

William de Vesci, c. 1200 : a patonce. 

Galfridus de Hordene, c. 1230; a fess between S pelicans. 

Thomas de Aunoy, c. 1237 : an escallop shell. 

Mr. Seton (p. 190) has these observations : " Several of 
the earliest Scottish seals exhibit figures which were not 
ultimately adopted as the armorial ensigns of the fami- 
lies with which tl^ey are associated when Heraldry was 

* ArcliSBologia Cantiana, vi. 209. t Ibid. vi. 210. J Ibid. vi. 216. 
§ Ibid. vii. 221. || ArclifiBological Journal, xiii. 65. 


placed on a systematic basis. Thus the seals of William 
WaUace (1160) Adam Home (1165) Patrick Eidel (1170) 
Duncan Earl of Carrick (1180) and Kobert PoUok (1200) 
we find an eagle, an annulet, a lion, a dragon, and a boar 
respectively, — totally different charges having been af- 
terwards borne as the heraldic ensigns of Qiese sur- 
names." This is no argument against all these devices 
being armorial. There are instances on the contrary 
where an early device not placed on a shield, and there- 
fore not considered heraldic, coincides with the bearings 
in use at a subsequent period. Thus a seal of John de 
Mundegumri (1176) exhibits afleur de lis on a roundel, 
the subsequent arms of the family being 3 fleurs de lis. 
Again, the seals of Sir Walter Lindsay early in the 12 th 
century, and of Sir David Lindsay early in the 13th cen- 
tury exhibit an eagle, which was afterwards borne by a 
branch of the family. A seal of Innes of 1295 has a 
star not on a shield ; 3 stars or mullets being afterwards 
borne by the family. (See Eeview of Laing's Scottish 
Seals in Herald and Genealogist^ part xix.) 

Saher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester, temp. Eichard I : 
on a shield a fess and a label of 7 or, more points, the 
same bearings on the housings of his horse, and on the 
pennon of the lance which he carries, and on a shield in 
his secretum. But on another shield placed behind the 
equestrian figure is a pess between 2 chevrons. His 
wife was Margaret daughter and coheiress of Eobert de 
Breteuil or fitz Pamell, Earl of Leicester. The seal she 
used in her widowhood, the legend of which is " Sigill. 
Margarete de Quency, Comitissee Wintoniee,'^ exhibits on 
an arch imder which she stands, a cinqfoil, her dress, 
covered with mascles, the lining of her mantle vaire^ 2 
shields on a tree, one containing 'Sifesa between 2 chevrons 
as before, another 7 mascles. Eoger de Quincy son of Saher 
and Margaret was Earl from 12 1 9 to 1264. On the shield 
of his seal are 7 masclesj on the obverse he is afoot fight- 
ing with a lion, in the area of the shield is a cinq/oil; 
and a wyvern or dragon is displayed as a crest.* 

* Winchester vol. (1845) of Arch. Assoc., Paper on the Seals of 
Earls of Winchester. Also Nichols* Hist, of Leic. 



The seal of Eobert Bossu Earl of Leicester, brother 
of the aforesaid Margaret, exhibits a large cinqitefoil 

The seal of Hawise de Quincy, Countess of Lincoln 
contains 2 moBcles.^ 

The following pedigree will assist the comprehension 
of the connexion of all these arms : — 

Robert fitz Richard de Timbridge, an-~Maiid de St. Iiiz.=Saher de Quincy 
cestor of Fitz Walter, who bore a /<w» -T^ 1166-8 (Pipe Roll) 

between 2 CHEVRONS. living 2 Richard I. 

Saher de Quincy cr. Earl of Win-=Margaret sister and coheir- Rooert Bossu 
Chester 1210, ob. 1219. On seal ess. On her seals a CINQ- Earl of Leices- 
(Lansd.MSS.203)aFESSa«rfa FOIL and a MASOLE. ter. On his seal 
lahel, and a fbss hetwem 2 CHEV- Also 7 MASCLES and a fbss a CINQFOIL 
RONS. hetwem 2 CHEVRONS. ermine. 

Roger de Quincy, Earl of Winchester, Robert de Quincy==Hawise daughter of 

1219-64 : ob. 1264 s. p. m. On his bore Gules a -I^Hugh Earl of Ches- 

seal 7 MASCLES and a CINQ- CINQFOIL ter, Countess of Lin- 

FOIL. Bore Gulee 6 MASCLES or ermine (Roll of coin. On her seal 

(Roll of Hen. IH). Hen. III). 2 MASCLES. 

Margaret, daughter and coheiress ux. William Ferrers, Earl of Derby, 

. _ I 


Alianor married==Robert fitz Walter : on his seal, a fbss between % CHEVRONS, 
1298. H^und 7 MASCLES. 

The seal of William de Eomara, who died 1198, 
grandson of "William de Eomara Earl of Lincoln, is 7 
MASCLES crmilly. Without the crosslets the 7 mascles 
were the arms borne it seems by Eoger de QuincyJ Earl 
of Winchester, and they are also on the seal of his mother 
Margaret. Yet there seems no more reason to suppose 
they were borne by her except in right of her husband, 
than were the fess and chevrons of his stepfather Eobert 
fitz Eichard. They were probably the original bearings 
of the Quincys, and perhaps their use by Eomara indi- 
cated a common origin male or female of both families. 
The fess of Saher de Quincy seems unaccounted for ; was 

* Nichols' Hist, of Leic. t Top. and Gen. i. 321. 

X And also by De Eohan ut ante p. 191. 


it not the charge borne by St. Liz, and was not the fess 
in the shield of Eobert fitz Eichard taken on marriage 
with Maud de St, Liz ? There is a seal however, appa- 
rently of Simon de St. Liz who married Maud daughter 
of Waltheof Earl of Northampton, circumscribed " Sigil- 
lum Simonis Comitis Northamtuniae " attached to a 
charter witnessed by Matilda de St. Licio, his wife, in 
which the shield of the warrior is half displayed, and 
exhibits apparently a bordure engrailed and the half of a 
Jleur de lisJ^ But this may be incorrectly sketched or en- 

Mr. Ormerod in his History of Cheshire (i. 511) gives 
a representation of a seal of Roger de Lacy, Constable 
of Chester, temp. John, which exhibits a griffin at- 
tacked by a serpent^ that he intimates typifies the hos- 
tility of th^ Earls of Ch ester to their enemies the Princes 
of Wales, who bore the griffin " as a badge." Griffith ap 
Cynan was King of North "Wales, a.d. 1079, and pro- 
bably bore a griffin for his heraldic device. In Harl. 
MSS. 2064, (The Ledger Book of Yale Eoyal) p. 307, is 
given a charter of the Earl of Chester, witnessed by 
John the Constable, Hugh and Adam de Duttun, etc. on 
the secrdtum of the seal of which, is a griffin with the tail 
of a fish. And in the same volume are given two char- 
ters of Eoger the Constable, with a similar seal to that 
mentioned by Mr. Ormerod. 

Almaric (son of Simon Earl of Evkbux by Mabel 
daughter and coheiress of William Earl of Gloucester) 
bore on his seal and secretum^ with the legend " Sigillum 
Almarici Comitis Glovemiee," the heraldic charge of 
Barry PiLY.f His nephew Simon, the great Earl of 
Leicester, as depicted in stained glass in the Cathedral 
of Chartres,J bore on his banner the charge oi party per 
pale indented evidently the same bearing as his uncle's ; 
but the latter was probably c^elessly executed, and the 
indented lines spread over the whole field instead of 
being confined to the place of the pale. 

* NicLols' Hist, of Leic. ii. Part i. App. p. 3. 

t ArchfiBologia Cantiana, iii. 142. 

X Engraved in Herald and Qenealogisty Part xiii. p. 10. 



The following pedigree (chiefly from I] Art de Verifier 
lea Dates) will show who bore this coat, and also the lion 
with two tails. Both these coats appear to have been 
borne by the two families of Beaumont or Mellent and 
Montfort, perhaps in respect of cross matches, or probably 
owing to both famiUes having a common origin. 

Turolf de Pont Audemer. 
Humphrey de Vetolis. 



Boger Count of Beau-=Adelme daughter and Amaury IV d.e Montfort living 
mont, Seigneur de heiress of Waleran 1118. 

Montfort etc. ob. 1094. 

heiress of Waleran 
C!omte de Meulent. 

Robert Comte de Men-: 
lent Earl of Leicester 
ob. 1118. 




Henry Simon Count Amaury 11. 

Earl of of Evreux Count of Evreux 

Warwick, and Montfort and Montfort 

ob. 1181. I ob. 1143 8. p. 


Waleran Earl of Mel- 

Robert Earl of Dreux 
Leicester ob. Hugh. 


J ^ 

Amaury m. 

Count of Ev- 
reux and 

=slsabel daughter 
of William Earl 
of Gloucester. 

Robert Earl of Mel- Robert Earl of Lei- 



cester ob. 1190. 



Hugo de Meulan, vounger son Robert Amicia 

of Robert Count of Meman or Earl of sister 

De Beaumont. Bore BARRY Leices- and co- 

FILY Gules and ob ^De la ter, ob. heiress. 

Roque, Hist, de la Maison 1204. 
D*Harcourt, L 217). 

=Simon de 
Earl of 
ob. 1217. 

1 Alm< 


Almeric Count of 
Evreux and Earl 
of Gloucester ob. 
1213 s. p. Bore on 
his seal BARRY 


Simon de Montfort the Great Earl of Leicester ob. 1264. Bore a 
LION RAMPANT ou Ms shield, and Fabtt pb& palb DANCETTE on 
his banner. 

*«* Amary de Miland, according to a RoU of Arms, drc. 1280, bore Sable un 
leon rampant d* argent d la queue fourehde fescue billets d* argent. It seems most likely 
that this is Amaury de Meulene living 1271. The ancient Counts of Meullont 
bore de sable un lion d argent d la queue fourehSe (Herald and Genealogist, Fart 
xxiii. p. 429.) 

The seal of Ealph de Issodun, Earl of Eu, jure ux. 
who died 1219, exhibits barry and a label of 7 points. 
This was the same coat borne with differences by Aymer 
de Yalence and Grey de Lusignan, both of the same 

We shall now be prepared more fully to carry still 


higher the antiquity of the distinguished bearings of the 
house of Clare, the well known chevrons, although posi- 
tive proof has already been given of their claim to rank 
amongst the very earliest proved coats of arms. It for- 
tunately happens in this case that there is an amount of 
presumptive evidence that would suffice alone to prove 
indirectly the existence of armorial bearings at, if not 
long before the Conquest, The shield of a feas between 2 
chevrons^ which we have seen is on the seaJ of Saher de 
Quincy, is the familiar coat of Fitz Walter, and can be 
intended for none other than that of his step-father, 
Robert fitz Eichard, ancestor of the Fitz Walters. Now 
this Kobert died 1134. Rose, sister of Gilbert Earl of 
Pembroke, married William Mimtfichet whose great- 
grandson, Richard de M., bore on his shield temp. John 
3 chevrons. This circumstance, with the fact that the 
descendants of Richard the brother of Gilbert bore them 
too, shows that their father Gilbert de Clare must also 
have borne that coat. His brother Robert we have just 
seen bore 2 chevrons^ and there is little doubt that Avice 
their sister was the Avice de Clare who married Robert 
de Toni, whose descendants the Staflfords bore a chevron. 
This carries these bearings up to the Richard fitz Gilbert 
of Domesday their father. This Richard fitz Gilbert had 
in Surrey and Essex two or three imder tenants whose 
possessions were considerable, and who on that account 
were probably sons-in-law or other near relatives. They 
were the family of Wattville, who bore 3 chevrons for 
arm^, of Dabemon who bore a chevron^ and "John" 
whose descendants of the name of Walton and Buckland, 
each bore also one chevron. 

We have before seen that Baldwin Earl of Hainault 
bore on. his seal 3 chevrons. The Christian name here 
being found more than once in the early generations of 
the De Clares, affords a clue of connexion that is much 
strengthened by the identity of arms ; and there can be 
little doubt that the chevrons in both families came from 
one source. There would appear no reason to suppose 
that the ancient Counts of Hainault would adopt in case 
of a marriage (if any there were) with the more mo(Jern 



Earls of Clare their armorial emblems; and as the 
chevrons of the Clares seem to have been in use at the 
Conquest, we must seek for an earlier era before we 
could meet with a common ancestor. 

After this pretty cleai* and continuous trace of the 
chevrons of De Clai*e up to the grandfather of Gilbert 
Earl of Pembroke, ' what becomes of Mr* Plaiiche's con- 
fident suggestion that his armorial device consisted 
simply of the bands made to strengthen his shield, which 
in the next generation took the form of chevrons ? 

Gilbert; Gomte de Brionne. 


Richard fitz Gilbert alias de Tim-=Kose daughter of 

bridge of Domesday, ob. 1090. 

Walter GiflFard. 

Baldwin, had Meules 
and Sap. 

A Gilbert de=Adeliza daugh- Avice ux. Avice de=Eobert de Toni alias de 

Clare and 

ter of Earl of Balph de Glare. Stafford %hose descend- 
Olermont. Foug^res. ants the Staffords bore a 


i Richard fitz Gilbert 
slain by the Welsh 


a qtw 
Earls of Clare, Hert- 
ford, and Gloucester, 
who bore 3 CHEV- 

2 Gilbert Earl of t*em1broke Rose ux William Munt- 
ob. 1148. On his seal 3 fichet. 

a quo 
Richard de Muntfichet, 
temp. John : on his seal 

Richard de Clare Earl of 
Strigul and Pembroke, 
ob. 1176. On his seiELl 

Robert fitz Richard ob. 1135.=Maud daughter of Simon de St» Liz. 


Walter fitz Robert, lord of DaV^ntry, 
ob. 1198. 

;ir Philii 

Sir Philip de Dayentry^ 
12 Hen. II. 

Robert fitz Walter " Mar- Ahce==Gilbert Peche John de Daventry. 
shal of the Army of God," H^1212. His de- '] 

scendants tote Sir William de I^Ventry 
a fess and 2 1204-32. On his seal a 
. CHEVRON^S. CHETROJ^ and a chief dan- 

tette (Baker's Nodhamp.) 

ob. 1234. On his seal a 
fes8 and 2 CHEVRONS. 


Walter fitz Walter, ob. 1257. 

Robert fitz Walter, ob. 1325 : married 1298 * on 
his seal, a/ess and ^ CHEVRONS. 

There remain to be noticed a few early coats from 


seals and rolls, that in themselves are of little significance, 
but made as it were the corner stone of a pedigi'ee, can 
be presumptively shown to be of early origin, taken in 
connection with similar arms borne by families having a 
common origin with the owners of the seals. This course 
could doubtless be pursued with equal success in the 
case of the great majority of the arms already given, if 
the genealogy of cognate families could be met with. 

An EAGLE is found on the seal of Thomas Count of 
Savoy, 1206. The coat of Montmorency is a cross be- 
tween 4 EAGLES.* Mathew de M. who died 1162, mar- 
ried Alice daughter of Hubert II. Count of Savoy. Can 
there be a doubt that the eagles here are taken from the 
coat of Savoy? If so, this coat is carried back half a 
century earlier. 

The well known coat of De Eos, three water bougets, 
was no doubt taken on the marriage of Everard de Eos 
with Eose daughter and coheir of William Trusbut. 
Everard died ante 32 Hen. II. The water bougets there- 
fore must have been assumed by Tr^sbut as early as the 
middle of the 12th century. And that De Eos pre- 
viously bore the allusive charge of roses is probable from 
the fact of 3 roses being the arms of the knightly family 
of CosiNGTON of Cosington, co. Kent, whose ancestor was 
a De Eos. 

The arms of Fia?z-WARiN may be traced to the time of 
Henry I. by the following pedigree l — f 

Warin de Metz, temp. Henry I. 

Fuike fitz Waxin ob. 1170.. William fitz Wariii of BurwBrdesley 1165-72. 

I ^1 

Fuike fitz Warin, ob. circa 1197. Warm de Burwardesley, 1175, dead 1220. 

^1 ^1 • 

Fuike 6tz Warin ob. Ci 1256. On bis Philip de Burwardesley 1220; on bis 
seal QUARTERLY per fess indented. seal QUARTERLY per /esse indented. 

In like manner the lion of Brus and Braose may be 

* Plallche's Pursuivant at Arms, P* 90. 

t From Eyton's Antiq. of Shropshire. . Mr. E. presumes these two 
similar coats were taken from each other, and are not of an early 
common origin. ' . ^ , 


traced up to the Conquest ; unless of course the theory 
combated hereafter may be considered adequate to ex- 
plain similar bearings by two powerful barons who were 
second or third cousins. 

Robert de BruB^ built the castle of* 
la Brofl^e in Normandy.* 

.Emma daughter of Alan 
Earl of Brittany. 

Bobert de BruB, ob. 1094. 

William de Braose of Bramber Adam de Bros of Alan lord of Bms^e. 
1086 great-great-grandfather of Skelton: his de- 

*^^^^^* j Arme of '^ues de Breuz€ 
1 Grand Mar6chal of Nor- 

I . I mandy and Baron of Breuz^ 

William de Braoee. William de Piers de Bms or a IJON rampant azure, 

Bros bore azure a LION ram- bore ardent a U- 

pant croislette or (Boll of Arms, ON rampant azure, 

1240-6). (RoU of Arms 1240-6). 


The following pedigree in the early part compiled by 
the late Mr. Stacey Grimaldi (Gent.^s Mag. Jan. 1832) 
will assist in showing how the bearing of lozengy and 
its derivative a bend fuzilly, may be traced to the early 
part of the 11th century : — 

Ghimaldo, Prince of Monaoo^jFChristinay daughter of Bollo Duke of Normandy. 

I [ 

Guido Prince of Monaco an- Gilbert Crispin Baron of Beo, Bollo or Balph= 

cestor of the reigning Prince Constable of Normandy, Mar- 

1831 whose arms are LO- shal of tiiie Army : 1041. 

ZENGY.f . 


William. Gilbert. Milo. Goisfrid de Bee alias le Turstin fitz Ralph Domes- 

Marsha1.,_ day Tenant 

, I ^ 

Daughter and coheiress ux. Gilbert Daugher and coheiress ux. Bobert 
le Marshal. {= de Venuz.=: 


* This pedigree is from Dntmmond^s British Families, 
t The aescendants of Guelph a Bayarian count who lived in 820, 
became Dukes of Bavaria. The arms of this^ kingdom, Lozengt 
are known to be one of the most ancient in Europe. A Grimoaldus 
was Duke of Bavaria in 665, and his grandson of the same name in 
728. Lozengy was also the armorial ensign of the Counts of An- 
goul^me, descended of the Dukes of Aquitaine who also bore this 

X Madox in his History of the Exchequer gives an account of the 



John son of Gilbert.:^ Hugh de Baleigh, Richard neir of Hugh. 

7 and 14 Hen. 11.)* =f 

a quo Baleioh, who bore a Bend 

John son and Gilbert 1166. Walter 1166. William Earl of Pembroke 

heir. Essex 1166. Herefordshire. Norfolk. jure ux. 1189 ob. 1219. s. p. m. 


a quo 
Sir William le Mareschal of Hants who bore Chtlea a bend engrailed or FUZILLYf 
or and Sir Ansell [Anselm] of Norfolk who bore the same with a label azure (Koll 
of Arms temp. Edw. II). 

Collins in his Peerage states that the present coat of 
Earl FiTZWiLLiAM was borne as early as temp. Henry I., 
it being found on a seal attached to a deed of Sir William 
F. of Elmley, of that reign : this is an evident mistake 
for Henry II. as the following pedigree, on the exceUent 
authority of Mr. Hunter J will show; as it will also, 
even in the absence of the seal, that the arms were in 
existence as early as that period, from the fact of the 
family of Eocklet who bore a similar coat being sprung 
from a common ancestor living then. 

William fitz Gx>dric temp. Henry 11. 

William fitz William lord of Elmley, Bobert lord of Hockley 

a quo a quo 

Pitzwilliam who bear, LOZENGY.§ Hockley who bore LOZENGY arg, and 

gules over all a fees, 

office of Marshal of the King's Court, about whicli a contest arose 
temp. Hen. I. between John son of Gilbert le Marshal and Robert 
de Venuz. The latter it appears held the manors of East World- 
ham in Hants and Dray cote in Wilts, by the serjeantry of perform- 
ing the office of marshal. These manors by the Domesday Survey 
are said to be held by Q-eoffrey le Marshal. 

* John son of Gilbert 'le M^hal by a charter without date gives 
to Hugh de Baleigh probably his brother the manor of Nettlecombe 
in Somersetshire. (Coll. Top. and G^n. ii. l63.) 

t In Charles's Eoll of Arms temp. Hen. III. the charge fusilly is 
drawn engrailed, as in the examples of Montague and Percy. 

X Hist, of South Yorkshire. 

§ Woodhall of the same lineage temp. Hen. III. bore lozengy 
with a label of 5 points. 


We have found on the seal of William de Courct in 
the 13th century (ante p.- 189) the charge oifretty. This 
is also the principal charge in the arms of John de Ne- 
viLL, as evidenced by the roll of Henry III. Baldericus 
the Teuton living temp. William I. was father of two 
sons, who took tiie names respectively of Courcy and 
Nevill. We may therefore presume the original arms of 
Nevill were fretty, and were so borne at the Conquest. 
A fret or fretty was also borne by the families of Yeenon 
and Verdun, who with the family of De E^viers seem 
to have sprung from one of the early Earls of Eu. The 
owners of the fief of De la Eiviere in the Cotentin also 
bore a fret. That this was perhaps the original ensign 
of the Earldom of Eu seems probable from the fact that 
the families of Maltravers, EcmNOHAM, and St. Leoer, 
all considerable tenants of the earl at the Domesday 
survey, subsequently bore a fret or fretty for their armo- 
rial bearings. 

What is called the " old coat of Percy," viz. 5 
FUSILS would appear to be of very early origin. The 
more modem lion first appears on the seal of Sir Henry 
de Percy who married Fitz Alan, and whose lion ram- 
pant is supposed to have been assumed by him. But a 
more probable Origin seems to have been the blue lion 
on a golden shield of the Earl of Devon which in the 
EoU of Edward !!• (1308-14) is said to be "abatue'^ 
or extinct, whilst it is said in the same roll to be borne 
by Sir Henry de Percy, whose father was heir of his se- 
cond brother Ingelram, who married Adeline, daughter 
and heiress of William de Fortibus by Isabel daughter 
and heiress of Baldwin De Eivers Earl of Devon. In- 
gelram by her had no issue, and she remarried Ed- 
mund Earl of Lancaster, who never bearing her arms, 
it would seem that it was by permission allowed to be 
borne by Ingelram's brother or nephew. [See ante^ 
p. 181.] Or a lion rampant azure was also borne by 
Lovel, as appears in the EoU of Henry III. 

There can be no doubt that the old arms of Percy, viz* 
the fusils, were the bearings of Josceline de Louvaine. 
The family of Dawtrey of his lineage bore them. That 


the fusil was a Flemish device appears from several coats 
which can be traced to a Flemish source. Joceline le 
Fleming was father of Bichard fltz Jues (Joyce) who at 
the Domesday Survey held Cukenai and Andesley, co. 
Notts. The arms of Fitz Jues as given in the Diction- 
aries are a lend between 6 fusils ; of Annesley 7 fusils ; 
of Cockney 3 fusils charged with roses. Welbeck 
Abbey was founded or enriched by some of this family. 
A coat of Welbeck is a chevron between three fusils 
and of the Abbey the same as that of Cockney. William 
le Fleming, or de Fumess was son of Sir Michael le 
Fleming living temp, Stephen : a coat of Fleming is 3 
bars in chief 3 fusils : and Fumeaux bears a pale ru- 
siLLY, and a fess fusillt. 


de Lou- Josceline de Louyaine brother o^ Agnes daughter emd heiress 

Adeliza Queen of Henry I. 

of William de Perci. 

Joscelinus.* Henry de Percy.= daughter of Adam and sister of Peter 

de Brus. 

William de Alta Eipa temp. Hemy 11. William de= 
founder of Hardham Priory a quo Baw* Percy. 
TREY who bore azure 5 FUSILS in f ess 

Piers Peroy bore or a 
fess engrailedf [or FU- 
SILLY] azure {BjoUo{ 
Arms, 1240-5). 

Henry de Percy, son= 
and heir ob. 1272, 
bore azure a fess en- 
grailed [FUSILLY] 
or (Roll of Arms, 

ilram ob. s. p. 1262 mar* Wall 

:Lady Alianor 1. Ingelram ob. s. p. 1262 mar* Walter de 

Plantagenet ried Aveline daughter and Percy, a 

daughter of heiress of William de Fortibus, qtw Percy 

John Earl of and — De Rivers Earl of De- of KiLdale, 

Warren. von, who bore or a LION who bore 

rampant azure, 5 FUSILS 

in fess„ 

Sir Henry de Percy on his seal a lion rampant and in==Alianor daughter of John 
ttie Roll of Arms 1308-14 or a LION rampant azure ^Earl of Arundel, 
ob. 1318. 

* This charter from the Cartulary of Lewes priory contains these 
words " Seiant &c. quod ego Jocelinus nepos Joscelini fratris Adelisae 
reginsB dedi etc. ecclesiae Scti Q^orgi de Heringham etc. pro anima 
Joscelini aviinculi." (Dallaway, Hist, of West Suss. ii. 291.) 

t This was the way in which the fusils were blazoned : the fusila 
of Montagu are also so blazoned in the same roll, and from the 
mode in which an ordinary engrailed was drawn in early examples 
its appearance was that of fusils. This is further illustrated in the 
case of the bend fusilly of Mareschal which in the Boll of Edw. II. 
is called a bend engrailed. 


That the fess fuzilly lapsed sometimes into the fess 
dancetty, is proved in the bearings of a branch of the 
Neville family. Ealph son of Ealph de Neville married 
Alice de Albini; and abandoning his paternal coat ar- 
mour took that of his wife viz. a fess fusilly : his son 
Eobert bore the same coat with the difference of a bor- 
dure pellettee : his son Philip, according to the Roll of 
Arms of Edward II. bore a fess dancetle^ over all a bend ; 
and Philip's son Robert bore a fess dancette in a bordure 

The fess dancette of Vavasour seems to have had a 
similar origin. This family at the Domesday Survey 
were undertenants of the Percies. Malger then held of 
"William de Perci, Eselwode (Hazelwood) Edlinton, etc. 
Mr. Hunter -f says William de Perci before the Domesday 
Survey gave Edlington and Barnby to Malger ; and his 
great-grandson Robert le Vavasour gave Edlinton with 
his daughter Maud to Theobald Walter. Malger le Va- 
vasour son of Sir William le Vavasour, who with his 
sons Robert and Malger witnessed a charter of Matilda 
de Percy 1184-1204, who was son of Malger, who was 
son of the Malger of Domesday, sealed a charter with a 
double chevron or dancette, which is figured in Collec- 
tanea Topographica et Genealogica Tvi. 127): upon which 
the editor remarks " This seal is nere represented, as it 
affords a very remarkable example of the manner in 
which some of our most ancient coats originated. Tlie 
M. is doubtless the initial of Malgerus or Manger ; but 
it afterwards became a dancette, which to this day is 
the bearing of Vavasour." But where are there ana- 
logous examples? A Vavasour probably married a 
Percy and took their coat of arms, as Nevill did that of 

The following pedigree J will show the probability of 
the lion of Albini and Mowbray having had a common 
origin, and at a very early period : — 

* Drummond's British Families. 

t Hist, of South Yorkshire, i. 91. 

X Partly from Taylor's edition of "Wace's Boman de Bou, 


William D'Aubigiiy.=Sister of Grimatdt del Plessiz. 

Boger D' Aubigny=»Amy sifiter of Boger de Mowbray. 

William D'Albini Butler^Maud Nigel D'Albini bom c. 1066. Others, 
to Hemy I. ob. 1139. Bigot 

WUuam D'Albini Earl of Aron-spQueen Adelisa Boger* who took the name 

del ob. 1176: on his seal a LION widow of and estates of Mowbray 

rampant (DaU. W. Suss. vol. 2). | Henry I. Uying 1146. | 

a quo a qi*o 

Isabel, coheiress ux. John Fitz Boger de Mowbray who bore 

Alan who bore 6hUes a LION €h^ a LION rampant argent 

rampant or (Boll of Arms, (Boll of Arms, 1240-5). 

The sealf of Eobert fitz Maldbed (a descendant of 
Cospatrick the Saxon Earl of Northumberland who died 
1070) living temp. Kich. I. exhibits a saltibe ; he mar- 
ried Isabel daughter and coheiress of Gefl&y de Nevill 
from which match all the great Nevills descend. This 
bearing Mr. Planch^ seems disposed to think of some 
antiquity, though reluctant to admit it, for his words are 
'' The saltire may have been retained by the descendants 
of Cospatrick as their cognizance, or assumed by them at 
a later period, in commemoration of him." Are we to 
understand by this that Cospatrick used this device, and 
after his death it fell into disuse, and a century after- 
wards, like an old rusty sword it was taken from its 
hiding place and rehabilitated ? Except for the saltire be- 
ing also the cross of St. Andrew, there was no occasion 
from any evidence Mr. Planch^ produces, or from its be- 
ing borne by a kindred family, to seek a higher antiquity 
than that of the seal itself : but still, from its being the 
ensign of the patron saint of Scotland, and therefore ante- 
rior to the supposed rise of heraldry, he seems haunted by 
a vague conviction that this device at least was not a new 
adoption, and to evade the conclusion of its being borne 
by the successive descendants of Cospatrick mystifies his 

* Mr. Taylor makes Nigel the father of this Eoger son of William 
and Maud, but dates scarcely permit this affiliation. 

t Engraved in Surtees* Durham, and Drummond's British Pami- 


meaning, and imagines a strange and extraordinary cause 
of its supposed first adoption by Eobert fitz Maldred.* 

But that the Saltire was an ancient Scottish or Saxon 
ensign seems probable. Eobert de Brus who died 1141 
obtained the grant of Annandale. His descendants bore 
a saltire as the basis of their arms, apparently as the en- 
signs of this fief.f It is given as the ensign of Offa king 
of Mercia in the 9th century ; and might have been that 
of Waltheof Earl of Northumberland in the 10th century. 
It never seems to have been so common as the cross of St. 
George, nor as the Uon or many other bearings : it is only 
found once in the list of arms of the Crusaders at Versailles, 
and in England the earliest instances met with are in the 
roll of Henry III (1240-5) where there are only three 
coats of this bearing, whilst in the EoU of Edward II 
the proportion is 28 coats to 92 of Crosses of all kinds. 

The following table will show the prevalence of the 
Saltire amongst numerous families who had a common 
origin : — 

Otho, temp. Edw. Confessor. 
Walter fitz Otho, Castellan of Windsor a Domesday tenant. 


Gerald fitz Walter. William fitz Walter 

de Windsor. 



Maurice fitz Gerald. William fitz « Q^ 

Gerald. Windsob, Eakls op 

j j a quo Plymouth, etc. who 

Gerald, Thomas, Earls of Kerry or whose ancestors 

aguo a quo yrho 'boTQ argent DoreaSALTlKEwith 

Earls op Kildarb Earls op Des^ « SAJ^TIRE various Differences 

Dukes of Leinster mond who bore gules and a chief and Charges, 

who bore arg, a ermine a SAL- ermine, 

SALTIBE gules, TIRE gules, 

* Mp. Planch^ in his work gives engravings of three sKields of 
chessmen of the 12th century containing ornamental crosses ; an- 
other containing a saltire, and one quite heraldic, — a chief charged 
with a saltire : and subsequently an engraving of a shield said to be 
of the end of the 11th century, which shows a double bordure, the 
field fretty and pellett^e. But the most important of the shields of 
these chessmen ne altogether omits, viz. Quarterly, in the first and 
fourth quarters, chequy. These chessmen are amongst the antiqui- 
ties in tne British Museum. They are fully described, and the cir- 
cumstances of their discovery by Sir F. Madden in the Archaologia 
(vol. 24), referred to at page 170: 

t Waltheof son of Cospatrick was lord of Allerdale or Allandale 


The following pedigree* shows from seals the descent 
of the familiar fess chequy of the family of Stewart, 
from an early source, too early it appears to have been 
derived from the chequy of Warren, and therefore pro- 
bably from some source common to it, and the first house 
of Vermandois. 

Alan fitz Flaad, dead 1114.=Adeliiie de Heading. 

William fitz Alan son and=Ellen daugh- 2.WalterfitzAlan Simon fitz Alan 
heir, lord of Clun,t CO. Sa- 
lop, ob. 1159, living 1108. 

ter of William Dapifer Regis 1163. 

Peverell. living 1170. 

I ! 

William fitz Alan fitz Walter Steward of Scot- Robert nephew of Walter fitz 

Alan ob. 1210. land 1190, ob. 1204. On his seal Alan ancestor of the Boyds, 


.1 I. 

.1. . 1 " .• . 

Christiana daughter and heiress ux. Hugh Fantulf Walter fitz Alan living 
Baron of Wem, whose descendants the botelebs 1200. On his aecretum a 
bore a FESS CHEQUY between 6 cross crosslets, FESS CHEQUY. 

The pedigree which follows shows the extensive rami- 
fication of a very prevalent bearing in early English 
armory, viz. the simple Quarterly shield. There can 
be little doubt that the source of this honoured armorial 
ensign is to be found in the distinguished family of De 
Verb, as all the families in the table who bear it are 
descended from the head of that house who lived at the 
commencement of the 12th century. J 

in Cumberland. The latter was son of Maldred son of Crinan by 
Algitha daughter of XJghtred who was son of Waltheof Earl of Nor- 
thumberland 969. The great fief of Annandale or Strath-annan, in 
Dumfrieshire, bordered on Cumberland, and probably the two fiefs 
were originally one. 

* Prom Eyton's Shropshire, vii. 228. The seals are from Laing's 
Scottish Seats. 

t To the family of Clun is assigned the bearing of a chief; this 
we have seen was on the seal of De Housdain early in the 13th 
century : this family was doubtless the same as De Hesding, and a 
branch of the Comtes de Hesdin in Flanders. See UArt de Verifier 
les Dates, 

X The coat of Sackville, qiiarterly a lend vaire, is doubtless de- 
rived from De Vere, but by what match does not clearly appear. 
The match given by Collins in his account of the family is evidently 



Alberic de Vere 1086. 
Aubrey de Yere cr. Lord Great Chamberlam of England ob. 1140. 

Pain de Beau-sBose de^G^fi&y de Mandeyille cr. Earl of Beatrix ^William 



Essex ob. 1144. 

ob. 1207. de Say. 

Simon de Beau- 



illiam de Mandeyille Earl of Essex ob. 
1190 s. p. On his seal QUAETERLY 
(Madox, Form. Angl.) 

I I 

William Qeary de 

de Say. Say. 
ob. V. p. I 


William de Beauchamp. Bore QUAK- Beatrix daughter William de S&y bore 

TERLY or and Gules a bend (Roll of and heiress ux. QUARTERLY or 

Arms 1240-5). [Oeffrey de Beauchamp Geflfrey fitz Piers and Gules (Roll of 

bore QUARTERLY arg. andSa. (»*iV?.)J. Earl of Essex. Arms 1240-6). 

John fitz Geffiy fitz Piers ob. 1266. Bore QUARTERLY or and Gules 
a bordure vaire {ibid.) 

Sir Richard fitz John. Bore QUARTERLY or and Gules a bordure 
vaire (Roll of Arms 130^-14). 


Aubrey de Vere ob. 1140. 


Aubrey de Vere 1st Earl John de Lacy=Alicet de=Henry de Essex Baron 

of Oxford ob. 1194. 

ob. 1179. 


of Rawleigh. 

Aubrey de 
Vere Ihid 

Robert de Vere 3rd Earl Roger de Alianoi 
on his seal QUARTER- Lacy ob. 

LY and a mullet. 


=Roger fitz Richard 
(brother of John de 
Lacy) Baron of 
Warkworth 1166.t 

Hugh de Vere. John de Lacy Earl of Lincoln Robert fitz Roger, on his seal 

Bore QUARTERLY or and QUARTERLY and a bend 

Gules a bend sable and a label or- (Surtees' Durham) . 
ffent (Roll of Arms 1240-6). 

Robert de Vere. 


John fitz Robert son and heir ob. 1240. 



* Charter of William de Mandeville witnessed by " Simone de B. 
fratre meo." (Madox.) 

t The accounts of the connection of the Lacys and the ancestor 
of the Claverings with De Vere are conflicting, and that of Dugdale 
contradictory : that given here is believed to be correct, or approxi- 
mately so. 



_i I 

^?.???? ^® ^®^®- -^^^ Q"CrAR- Roger fitz John de Em^e son and heir oh. 1249. 
r /T , ^ ^ordure indented {^\\ Bore QUARTERLY or and gules a bend sable 
of Carlaverock). (RoU of Arms 1240-5). 


Robert fitz Roger ob. c. 1311. 

Akxander de Clavering. Bore QUAR- John fitz Robert de Clavering ob. Bore 
TERLYorandsableandSmullets arg.on 1332. QUARTERLY a bend and ala- 
a bend sable (RoU of Arms t. Edw. XL) bel. (Roll of Arms t. Edw. H.) 

A remarkable peculiarity in all these quarterly coats 
is the adherence to the colours or and ^fules^ except in 
one instance : various modes of differencing were adopted, 
always avoiding change of colour of the field. But none 
of the subsequent bearers took the mullet of De Yere, a 
distinction evidently peculiar to that family, and not as 
is supposed a mark of cadency, and which will be ex- 
plained hereafter. 





I HAVE now I think presented such an array of facts, 
genealogical and heraldic, as will constitute a sufficient 
body of evidence to enable us to form an opinion by in- 
ductive reasoning, as to whether Heraldry originated at 
the time it first appears on seals, or much earlier. For 
this is the " crucial test " by which Mr. Planche, and 
writers of his school, try the claims of the science to an- 
tiquity. That it is a most unfair test — in fact, no test at 
all, as shown by seals themselves — I shall attempt to 
prove. We find coats of arms on seals of at least per- 
sons of knightly rank, almost universal in the middle 
and end of the 13th century ; at the end of the 12 th 
century they are numerous, but not general; at the 
middle of the century they are rare, and previously, and 
in the 11th century, there are scarce a dozen instances 
all of which are given in this work, and which Mr. 
Planche and others distrust as fictions. But as nume- 
rous seals of the 11th and 12th centuries, of persons of 
the highest rank, have come down to us without any 
heraldic insignia inscribed on them, it is contended as a 
conclusive argument that they were then unknown, and 
had not begun to be adopted. But what is the force of 
a negative argument? Because no coins of a certain 
king's reign, or of a certain denomination are to be met 
with, is it logical to infer that none such were made ? 
Because in Domesday Book some persons are entered 
with only their Christian names, are we to conclude they 


had no surnames ? Because in early deeds and records 
Barons and Knights were mentioned by their plain un- 
titled names, are we to suppose they were not Barons or 
Enights ? In the present day, crests are generally en- 
graven on note-paper and envelopes. Would the anti- 
quaries of five centuries hence be justified in dating the 
use of crests from their use 6n note-paper, or inferring 
that those who used plain paper were not possessed of a 
crest ? Such and many others are just analogies ; and 
no negative argument so compared can decide any ques- 
tion. But what arguments of a positive character do 
seals themselves afford — such as have been enumerated ? 
Heraldic symbols amongst a military people were de- 
picted on shields and banners, on the surcoat of the war- 
rior, and the housings of his horse. We have seen that 
the seals of the early earls of Flanders (except the ques- 
tioned one of 1072) are without any armorial devices till 
1164 ; but there was no opportunity to exhibit them, for 
the warriors shield is displayed naturally, viz. averted, 
and only the inside appears ; the horses have no trappings, 
and no banner is carried. It is contended that if arms 
were then borne, an opportimity would be made to ex- 
hibit them, as afterwards, on a seal.* This depends on 
the feeling and fashion of the times about the matter. 
It is quite clear that until the middle of the 13th cen- 
tury, an armorial device was not considered any essential 
part of such an important object as a man's personal 
seal, an impression from which was equivalent to a sign 
manual in the present day. The instances of royal and 

* Because no stirrups appear on the ancient equestrian monu- 
ments, antiquaries conclude that so simple a contrivance was un- 
known to the Eomans. But we should consider how much of the 
real costume of the time was suppressed by sculptors — how generally 
the ancient vases, coins, lamps, rilievi, nay even triumphal arches, 
represent chariot horses without even yoke or traces—how seldom 
the saddles or rather Ephippia appear on statues (the spurs and 
horseshoes never) — how greatly stirrups would detract from the 
freedom and grace of an equestrian figure. Besides something like 
one stirrup does appear on an antique at the Vatican : the Anaboleus 
of Plutarch would imply a stirrup as well as a groom ; and Eusta- 
thius gives both meanings to the word. — Forsyth's Italy, p. 133. 
A coin of Q. Labienus represents a horse saddled and bridled. 


noble persons who in the 12th century did not exhibit 
arms or seals when others of the same rank did, need not 
be here repeated ; and it is a well known fact that many 
persons of rank even in the beginning of the 13th cen- 
tury used seals that were not armorial. Why^ it may be 
difficult to tell : perhaps the artist could not well or con- 
veniently depict the arms ; perhaps the owner was in- 
different, as a gentleman of ancient family of the present 
day is, whether he sealed a deed with his armorial seal 
or any other. And this mode of engraving the shield 
averted, or the face only partially seen, was the prevail- 
ing practice down to the end of the 12th century, even 
amongst kings and great men : and it was so doubtless 
because it was the only true and faithful representation 
of holding the shield. Moreover these seals are gene- 
rally so rudely done that it is no wonder the artist was 
not enjoined to delineate a coat of arms : but even were 
that otherwise, it is plain the fashion had not become 
general of engraving heraldic symbols on seals till the 
13th century. There are none on any seal of Henry II. ; 
none on the seal of his son Geffiry Count of Brittany ; 
and yet no one would suppose that they had none when 
the father of the king is proved to have borne them, and 
also several of his nobles and cotemporaries. But on all 
these seals of warriors on horseback, the exhibition of 
banners is extremely rare ; on general grounds, therefore 
we should be as much justified in denying the existence 
of banners from their absence on the seals of warriors as 
in denying the existence of devices on shields when the 
surface of those shields is not presented to view, or even 
where it is ; for a banner is as much an accessory of war- 
fare as a shield. 

Mr. Blanche's work "Heraldry founded on Facts"* 

* This production is reviewed in the Edinburgh Bemeio for April 
1865. The reviewer calls it " A rigorously scientific examination 
into the origin and early history of coat armour " and says that " it 
is full of learning and research." [!] As a test of the reviewer's 
competency to form a judgment of heraldic works two notorious 
errors may be quoted. He remarks 1st " It is a proof that here- 
ditary heraldry is posterior to the tide of Norman immigration, that 
hardly a family of Norman origin can be named in England or Scot- 


before mentioned is perhaps the most influential work 
written of late years on the antiquity of the science, at 
least on the sceptical side of the question ; and therefore 
requires much notice in an opposite view of the subject. 
It professes to be written on the dictum of the poet— 

" What can we reason but from what we know, — " 

a most philosophical attitude to take, and unassail- 
able if faithfully maintained. But if such a position is 
taken, and certain facts are selected as being the whole 
truth and reasoned upon accordingly ; if collateral facts 
are eschewed, which bear upon' the subject, and would 
modify an inference, or justify the suspension of the 
judgment, — ^then we have an ew parte statement, and an 
advocate's pleadings ; and a just and impartial conclusion 
is impossible. Mr. Planche omits the important " facts " 
just considered, viz. that most early seals have the shield 
averted, and that many shields of princes and nobles are 
without heraldic insignia at a time when they were pre- 
valent generally on seals. Other instances we have seen 
where Mr. Planche does not reason from the whole of 
"what we know," or even what he has informed his 
readers, but from a part only. General conclusions from 
particular premises are not logical : and the only conclu- 
sion justly deducible from seals, is not that armorial bear- 
ings originated when they are first met with on them, 
but simply the observed fact that armorial bearings are 
first seen on seals in the 12th century. 

Although therefore the general fact of heraldic sym- 

land which bore arms at all similar to those of the parent family of 
the same surname in Normandy.'* Now the hereditary character of 
coats of arms from the earliest times will be sufficiently proved pre- 
sently ; but numerous instances may be cited at once where the 
same family in England and Normandy did bear the same coat, viz. 
Vipont, Harcourt, Conyers, Courtenay, Bruce, Warren, Courcy, 
Ac, whose seals are given in the foregoing pages. Secondly, the 
Keviewer gives currency to the puerile and exploded notion that 
** the chequered fess in the Stewart shield represents the Steward's 
board." This is like the old notion that the "Warren chequy coat gave 
rise to " the chequers to be seen on the sides of tavern doors ; " 
such chequers having been also found on doorposts at Pompeii, and 
as these pages record, on the shield of a Greek Warrior ! 


bols not being met with on seals before the 11th century,^ 
or to speak more certainly the 12 th century, does not 
exclude the possibility of their much earlier exhibition 
in other ways, yet in itself it has no tendency to establish 
it. But a comparison in detail of a collection of them as 
here given, in connection with genealogy, and other facts 
and circumstances, assuredly does; and it shows the 
strong probability of such earlier use, if not its certainty. 
Mr. Nichols, die Editor of the Herald and Genealogist^ 
in commencing, in the number for March 1865, of that 
work, a series of articles on " the Origin and Develop- 
ment of Coat Armour,''' remarks, "it is our object to 
divest the subject entirely of theory and conjecture, and 
to proceed if we can, wholly upon evidence presented to 
our eyes, or upon well ascertained historical facts," and 
he praises Mr. Planche's work for being written " in the 
like spiiit." These two writers are the most recent and 
authoritative on the subject and are the exponents of the 
latest and most generally accepted views. But I must in 
limine protest against the notion that in these inquiries 
all " theory and conjecture " should be discarded.* 
When Paley instances the case of a watch found on a 
heath, he does so to show that it is a circumstance to be 
reasoned about^ how, and why it came there, etc. In like 
manner the " facts" presented in the foregoing pages are 
of little general value, unless viewed together, and inter- 
woven in some theory to account for their origin and 
significance. Mr. Planch^ and Mr. Nichols may well 
deprecate flights of fancy when reflecting on the absur- 
dities and extravagance to which the old writers by 
such excursions gave birth. In this as in other sciences 
one extreme has led to another ; conjectures without 
facts have been replaced by facts without conjectures. 
In the wide domain of physical science, the isolated facts 
collected would never have resulted in the discovery of 
laws, but for repeated hypotheses and consequent gene- 

* " Are we to be deterred from framing hypotheses, and con- 
structing theories, because we find ourselves frequently beyond our 
depth ? Undoubtedly not.*' — Sir J. Herschel, Discourse on the Study 
oJ\Natural Fhilosophy, p. 196. 


ralizations. It is ihe business therefore of the searcher 
after Truth in Heraldry, as in other sciences, to frame 
hypotheses to account for the facts he has under his 
notice ; but not to comprehend in his hypotheses fictions, 
as the old writers did ; and to modify his hypotheses, if 
new facts require it. 

" Theory and Conjecture" are indeed so natural, and 
follow so necessarily on the observation of a strange cir- 
cumstance or a puzzling fact, that, notwithstanding this 
disclaimer, Mr. Nichols, in endeavouring to account for 
the " development of coat-armour " is insensibly, in fact 
inevitably, drawn into the vortex he sets out with an 
intention to avoid. I will therefore first examine the 
theory so evolved, and see how it accords with and is 
justified by facts. 

Mr. Nichols says " Some of the simplest coats are 
those which bear what are called the Ordinaries, — the 
Chief, the Pale, the Bend, the Fess, and the Chevron, 
the Cross and the Saltire ; the five former of which may 
all be regarded as having originally been bars placed in 
various directions to strengthen the shield, and the two 
latter as crossed bars." He then mentions coloured 
shields without charges, and divided by one or more 
lines into divisions : an<J he remarks of these that " there 
can be no doubt we see in these uncharged coats the 
earliest features of the art of armory." 

Undoubtedly this simple kind of armorial bearings 
was among the earliest, if not the earliest adopted in 
military warfare. But if they constituted the germs of 
mediseval heraldry and arose at its alleged commence- 
ment, viz. in the 12th century, the " evidence presented 
to our eyes" would surely support the theory, and we 
should expect to find in the seals of the period, numerous 
ensigns of this particular guise, indeed we should expect 
to find the majority of this kind. Yet what are the 
facts ? The fleur de lis, the maunche, the mascle, the 
fusil, the cross crosslet, one, three, and six lions, the cinq- 
foil, the mullet, the crescent, the roundel and swallows 
occur frequently in the armory of the 12th century. 
It is true that geometrical figures are also to be found. 


but not in their simplest character, and of any kind are 
comparatively rare. Not an instance of a shield divided 
per party is to be met with, and in the instances given 
by Mr. Nichols he does not show one to have arisen in 
the 12th century. 

To the theory of dividing the plain shield into equal 
divisions is superadded another to account for what are 
called the ordinaries. These are supposed by Mr. Planche 
to have lapsed accidentally into heraldic devices, from the 
circumstance of their having been employed to strengthen 
or fasten the shield, and were made ornamental and co- 
loured.* This I fear is a theory taken up without duly 
considering the consequences that flow It is in 
fact " proving too much.""|" According to descriptions 

* This opinion was previously expressed by Mr. Eaine in his 
Hisfory of Durham (p. 249). He gives a charter of Philip de 
tJlcotes (1207-17) the seal attached to which being paly of six, a 
hordure hezanfee, he considers an early instance of the practice. 
And in Stothard's Monumental Effigies a representation is given of 
an eflBgy in Whitworth church yard, co. Durham, having a shield 
exhibiting two bars and a hordure hezantee, which is regarded as 
another example. 

t The author of the article " Heraldry" in Brewster's Edinburgh 
Cyclopadia mentions another theory of the origin of the Ordinaries : 
" The partitions of the shield" he says " are supposed to be deduced 
from the habits of tournaments, which were frequently of different 
colours, sometimes the one side of the garment differing from the 
other, sometimes the top part from the bottom, etc. From the bar- 
riers and lists and their various parts, are taken the forms of the 
pale, the chevron, the cross saltire, etc." 

Mr. Lower dedicates a chapter to the consideration of the " Ra- 
tionale of Heraldic Charges, etc." which is certainly more rational 
in many parts than the theories mentioned. The Bend he says 
" represents a band or scarf worn over one shoulder. * * Of a 
similar origin is the Eess which represents a sash or military 
girdle. * * It is probable that the PaJe originated in the inser- 
tion of a perpendicular stripe of a different colour from the mantle 
itself. * * The Chevron has generally been considered a kind of 
architectural Emblem. * * The chequered dress of the Celtic na- 
tions, still retained in the Highland plaid or tartan, may in some 
way have originated the Chequered coat of Heraldry. At all events 
this is a more probable source than the chess board from which 
some writers derive it. * * Roundels [or Pellets] may have been 
suggested by the studs or knobs by which the parts of an actual 
buckler were strengthened and held together. [Their occurrence on 
coins seems to have escaped the attention of Mr. Lower.] The Ah- 


and examples of ancient shields and bucklers that we 
possess, they are found to be ornamented and fastened in 
various ways. A border is very common ; it is generally 
studded (heraldically speaking bezant^e) and studs are 
formed into various patterns, as circles, ovals, etc. Con- 
centric rings are also observed, the intermediate spaces 
studded. And we may fairly ima^gine other innumerable 
forms of ornament composed of studs. Yet none of these 
figures coincide with heraldic figures. No example of 
the bordnre is met with in the 12th century. Bands, 
horizontal, perpendicular and diagonal of course are iden- 
tical with certain heraldic ensigns.* But practically, how 
could these have originated the armorial bands ? These 
modes of fastening the shield must have been common ; 
such bearings must therefore have been proportionally 
common; and if they became insensibly heraldic em- 
blems, hundreds of persons must thus not only in Eng- 
land but throughout Europe, have become unconsciously 
to each other, the bearers of identical marks, and in a 
short time, through adoption, thousands of persons of 
knightly rank. It is a cause, if a true one, that excludes 
symbols derived from other sources as superfluous. As 
actually such bands formed only a small portion of the 
armory of England, indeed of Europe in the 13th cen- 
tury, it is difficult how to account for the accidental 
adoption of such marks, when devices of significant cha- 
racter were in their infinite variety open to choice ; that 
is, difficult on the theory before us ; and it is only in 
some other way, as by inheritance from remote times, 
when such patterns were used heraldically, that such 
unmeaning marks as geometrical divisions of the shield 
could be accounted for at all, at an era when other de- 
vices were borne of a different character. 

nulet seems to have been taken from ring armour. * * The Mascle 
is taken from the mesh of a net. * * The Fret may have been 
borrowed from a knotted cord." Here we have a string of conjec- 
tures, when t\ie facts exhibited on coins, vases, Trajan's column, and 
in architectural ornamentation, render all guess-work superfluous 
and trifling. 

* If the ornamentation of the shield were the source of certain 
kinds of arms, how is it we do not find in heraldry early examples 
of the bend sinister and bendy sinister ? 


But the most fatal objection to this theory is the fact 
that armorial bearings were borne on banners as well as 
on shields, as we find from the Bayenx tapestry,* and 
two or three seals before noticed ; and as we might well 
suppose had we no such evidence. No such cause can 
here have operated to produce bands or any other orna- 
ment of which the shield is susceptible. It would be 
futile to suppose that the figures on the shield preceded 
the exhibition of any device on the banner : the standard 
in war is coeval with the shield, and as Wace says of the 
warriors at Hastings, 

" Li barons ourent gonfanons, 
Li chevaliers ourent penons." 

To resume the consideration of the inferences to be 
drawn from the comparison previously suggested. As 
we have seen good reason to reject the test of a seal to 
decide whether the owner bore heraldic ensigns or not, 
we can no longer consider their use confined to the per- 
sons who happened to have had them represented on 
their seals, f When we have proof that the Earls of 

* " Some of the standards are striped and spotted in a fashion 
which may have originated the pales, bars and roundels of the suc- 
ceeding century." (Planch^) i. e., at the supposed invention or rise 
of geometrical symbols a hundred years afterwards, these standards 
disused till then, were resumed, and the Bayeux tapestry resorted 
to for patterns and examples ! 

t The heraldic writings of Mr. Planch 6 and Mr. Nichols abound 
with instances where they are very solicitous to draw a distinction 
when they find an heraldic symbol on a seal that is " not on a shield." 
This peculiarity alone stamps it in their eyes as a non-heraldic bear- 
ing, or rather as not a coat of arms but a " badge," a " device," or a 
" cognizance ; " and if met with in the 12th century, or even in the 
next, it is regarded as incipient heraldry, which " afterwards " be- 
came developed into a " regular coat of arms." 

Thus in this spirit Mr. Nichols (Herald and Gen. part xxiii. p. 
412) mentions a seal of " Simon de Suldham " temp. Hen. III. " as 
a bird with wings raised not on a shield*^ and quotes an opinion 
(without condemning it) that " this device was probablv the arms of 
Shuldham, viz. azure an eagle displayed or as borne by his son Hugh 
de Shuldham, and which are emblazoned on a roll of the lands and 
tenants at Marham, Norfolk." 

Again, reviewing Laing's Ancient Scottish Seals (H. and Or, part 
xix. p. 16) he says seals ** determine by the most authoritative evi- 


Pembroke and Eichmond, the Countess of Boulogne, the 
Earl of Anjou, the Earl of Mellent, and by necessary im^' 
plication, the Earls of Yermandois and Warren, his re- 
latives, and others of similar rank, bore arms in the 

dence the real era of the rise and origin of our present system of 
Armory. Upon these monuments may be frequently traced the 
same devices, anterior to coat armour, which subsequently formed 
the hereditary bearings of families, and were used by them for cen- 
tunes, in some instances to the present day. Thus the arms of 
Montgomerie (Earls of Eglinton) which are azure three fleurs de lis 
or, are traced to the seal of their ancestor John Mundegumri which 
is appended to a charter of the date drc. 1176. It bears a single 
fleur de lis, not however placed upon a shield." 

Again : " An early seal of an Innes appended to the homage deed 
of William Innes, July 10, 1295 has a star not upon a shield. It is 
inscribed S. Willi de Inats. This star led to the mullets of the 
coat of Innes which appear alone on the seal of Walter Innes, 1431." 

With respect to a single charge being found at early periods on a 
seal or even described in a roll of arms it is well known that aa 
families increased such single charge was often doubled or tripled 
to constitute a distinctive coat. The single charge often retamed 
for generations by the head of the house was therefore as much an 
heraldic bearing as when multiplied. But the eagle or " bird with 
wings " temp. Hen. III. of Sulaham " not on a shield " and the star 
or Ijoays of 1295, likewise " not on a shield," are certainly not seals 
of a period " anterior to coat armour." Why then should the form 
of the seal affect the character of the device ? That in fact the 
form of the seal, whether a roundel, an oval, a lozenge, or a shield 
of any shape, either in the 12th century (" anterior to coat armour " 
as we are to believe) or in the next and following centuries, had 
nothing to do with the character of the device or charges it exhibited 
I shall proceed to show, and thereby give room for the just inference 
that the shape of the seal was owing to the fancy of the engraver. 
Indeed Mr. Nichols at a subsequent period (H. and Q-. part xxv. 
p. 63) finds occasion to question the doctrine that a device on a seal 
" not placed on a shield " is not heraldic. " The doubt suggests it- 
self" ne observes " Were the old seal-engravers scrupulous whether 
they placed their devices on a shield or not ? We tlunk a survey of 
the Stow-Bardolph series has shown that they were not so." 

The seal of Eoger de Creuilly (p. 181) exmbits three lions passant 
" not on a shield." The fine seal of Eobert de St. John, circ. 1200 
(p. 193) exhibits three buckles " not on a shield." It cannot be pre- 
tended that these two seals are not armorial. The beautiful seal of 
Elizabeth wife of John Lord Bardolf is a large roundel ; in the 
centre, on a heater shaped shield, are the arms of Bardolph ; around 
it are arranged on roundels the arms of Castile and Leon, de Clare, 
Damory, De Burgh, &c. This is engraved in the Topographer and 
Oenealojisty (i. 222) aud in the HerM and Oen. (part xxiii. p. 414.) 


early part of the 12th century, the corollary follows 
that their cotemporaries of equal position possessed the 
same distinctions ; for a^ we have seen, arms were not 
borne on shields alone, but on banners also, and every 
feudal chief carried his gonfanon or pennon, which there 
is no reason to suppose was in some cases plain, in others 
charged with a device. There is no proof or presump- 
tion that the nobles who we have seen had ensigns, were 
a privileged or peculiar class, as functionaries of state, 
nor that persons of only knightly rank, as Conyers and 
others, whose seals occur in the 12th century, were in 
any way privileged beyond others of their order, to bear 
coat armour. We cannot therefore resist the conclusion 
that both nobles and knights in the middle of the 12th 
century did, as a military class, exhibit armorial bearings 
in the field and otherwise. 

In the great majority of cases that have come before 
us, we have been enabled to trace the hereditary descent 
of the arms borne for generations subsequently, if not 
always in the male line directly, yet indirectly through 
females. We are justified, therefore, by an inverse de- 
duction, in tracing backwards to the middle of the 12th 
century the majority of the coats of the time of Henry III, 
at least the uncompounded ones in their integrity, and the 
basis or some element of the others. In this way we 
arrive at a considerable collection of arms borne in the 
time of King Stephen. But we have a few direct exam- 
ples on seals at the era of the Conquest, to say nothing 
of the evidence of the Bayeux tapestry and of Wace, as 
well as the proof that most of the genealogical tables 

T?he circular seal of Joan Countess of Warren 1374 exhibits four 
coats of arms on lozenges and four on quatrefoih. The seal of Mary- 
Countess of Pembroke, 1347 exhibits three coats on roundeU and 
one (impaled, in the centre) on a shield. These two are engraved 
in Bouteirs English Hercddry and in the Herald and Gen, (part 
XXV. p. 70.) The circular seal of Thomas Lord Fumival temp. Hen. 
III. exhibits his arms on a lozenge (engraved in Her. and Gen, part 
xvi. p. 334.) Lastly, appended to the Barons' Letter to the Pope, 
the arms of William Paynell are on a lozenge, and of Eobert Fitz 
Papie on an oval. 

These examples surely set at rest the question of whether devices 
•* not placed on a shield " are heraldic or not. 


here given present, that certain coats must have been in 
existence at the time of the Conqueror. And the same 
reasoning that carries back the armory of the time of 
Henry III to the time of Stephen, will lead us up, in 
almost equal cogency to the era of the Conquest. 

The argument employed by Mr. Nichols that coat- 
armour was necessary to distinguish the person is of no 
force at the time of the Conqueror, or even of King Ste- 
phen, for defensive armour to conceal the face was un- 
known till a later period. This relegation of the era at 
which heraldic symbols may be proved to have flou- 
rished, from the time of John to the time of Stephen, and 
again to the time of William the first, it might be said 
may be continued ad infinitum. So perhaps it might, and 
land us at the time of Tacitus and Diodorus Siculus, or 
at all events at the time of Henry the Fowler, ,that is, if 
we were assisted by genealogy ; but genealogy with few 
exceptions stops short at the beginning of the 11 th cen- 
tury, and is of little avail even then till the time of the 
Domesday Survey. But not to press an argument too 
far, and thereby impair its value, a substantial locus 
standi is given us during the reign of King Stephen. 
This is said to be the period of the '^ dawn of heraldry, '^ 
when we see its "germs" and "rudiments'* first appear. 
But it would be much more correct to predicate of this 
period, or certainly of that of Henry II, that it was the 
noonday of the science, that instead of being in its in- 
fancy, it had then long attained, in all essential particu- 
lars, its fall growth; it would be no mere figure of 
speech to say that what evidence we have of its existence 
at this era may be likened to a few i5pagments lying 
about, the remains of a stately edifice, then in its full 
integrity and perfection. There is no greater simplicity 
in the coats we have had under review, than in those of 
the roll of Henry III (1240-5). The 3 chevrons of 
Strongbow, the 6 lions of Anjou or Salisbury, the swal- 
lows of Arundel, and many others* exhibit the multipli- 

* The coats of Tateshall and Pontcliastneau (pp. 191-2) comprise 
combinations which are not exceeded in the roll of Edward II. 


cation of a single charge, whilst the composite coats of 
Conyers and Eomara are an early testimony to the prac- 
tice of gerating; the differences of the bend and the 
label are seen on the seals of Quincy and Gouviz, and 
there can be little doubt that the element of colour was 
as fully developed as afterwards, whilst as early as the 
roll of Henry III we note the observance of a cardinal 
rule in Heraldry, viz. not to place metal on metal or 
colour on colour. The same strict rules of adoption of. 
particular bearings were evidently in as full force in the 
12 th century, as in the following one : we do not find 
the royal ensigns taken by those who had no claim of 
kindred, nor indeed of any other family ; the right was 
evidently jealously preserved ; and the ensigns of ancient 
houses were taken with pride by those allied to them, an 
evidence of their antiquity and renown. Indeed the want 
of variety of devices at early periods is one of the most 
convincing proofs of their antiquity : it appears as if a 
man at that time thought as little of changing his pater- 
nal coat of arms as of changing his hereditary surname, 
or being called otherwise j than by some designation to 
which he had a territorial or filial right. Were armorial 
ensigns then of recent adoption, we should with much 
reason expect a greater variety, and of different kinds. 

And what is there in the nature of Heraldry that 
should make it a progressive science like Chemistry or 
Geology ? It is in fact from its very simple constituents 
a science that rapidly attains its full growth ; it is marked 
by no advancement like Architecture, from the germ of 
the hut to the grandeur of the palace. The chief deve- 
lopment of which it is susceptible is in the representa- 
tion of its forms by the gradual progress of art : even 
here, as in architecture, there is a 7ie plus ultra which the 
lapse of centuries does not go beyond ; the seal engravers, 
and the architects of the time of Edward III are un- 
equalled in the present day, and an armorial stained 
window of that age exhibits a radiance and softness of 
colour, and a beauty of ornament which are rarely imi- 
tated in the 19th century. 


It now remains to notice and impugn four prevalent 
theories on the subject, which have impeded the ac- 
ceptance of the views of the antiquity of heraldry ad- 
vocated in these pages ; concluding this chapter by an 
argument founded on a comparison of English with 
Foreign Armory. They are these :— 

1. That arms were not hereditary till the early par 
of the 13th century. 

2. That adoption through collateral consanguinity is 
the explanation of similar contemporary arms, and not 
derivation from a common ancestor. 

3. That Feudal Eelationship explains the similarity 
of arms, where no consanguini^ appears. 

4. That the Crusades influenced the origin or extent 
sion of Armorial Bearings. 

I. Mr. Lower in his Curiosities of Heraldry (p. 28) 
says " the best authorities are agreed that coat armour 
did not become hereditary until the reign of Henry III, 
and his successor. Before that period * families kept no 
constant coat, but gave now this, now that, sometimes 
their paternal sometimes their maternal or adopted coats, 
a variation causing much obfuscation in Mstory.^"* 
Mr. Montagu however in his Guide to the Study of 
Heraldry admits that '^in the time of Eichard I,, 
Heraldry had become hereditary.^' 

But I propose to show, as far as we can obtain evi- 
dence, that it was always^ as a general rule, hereditary, 
and that the reverse is only apparent : that a change of 
arms was exceptional, happening on a person marrying 
into a higher family whose arms were adopted, and on 
other rarl occasions ; and that this deviation from the 
ancestral bearings was not more common in the reign of 
Richard the first than in that of Edward III, 

The author of the article ^* Heraldry '' in the JEncy- 
chpadia Metropolitana says : — ^ 

" With respect to the hereditary property qf arms, this has not 
always been observed even since the acknowledged existence of 
Heraldry, as may be seen in the case of the last two Earls of 

* Waterhouse's Discourse, p. 77. 



Chester, the two Quineies, Earls of "Wincbester, and the two Lacies, 
Earls of Lincoln : no positiveUf hereditary bearings have been found 
in England before Henry the third's time." 

Now what are the facts ? Eanulph Earl of Chester, 
who died 1155, married Maud sister of William Earl of 
Gloucester, on whose seal was a lion pasaant. On the 
seal of Eanulph was a lion rampant^ he evidently adopt- 
ing the arms of the family of his wife, who was grand- 
daughter of Henry I. We have no authentic knowledge 
of the arms borne by Banulph's son and heir, Hugh 
Cyvelioc who died 1180. But his son Eanulph Blun- 
devil, who died s, p. 1231, bore axscording to Glover's 
EoU of Arms, as " Le Comte de Chester^ d'azur a trois 
garhea d'or. Probably one or three garbs were borne 
too by his fathet, and also by his grandfather, before he 
assumed the arms of Maud his wife, and it is further 
probable that Gherbod the first Earl of Chester, created 
by William the Conqueror, imposed, the canting arms 
attributed to him, viz. a garh^ on. the Earldom. The 
next Earl, John Scot, was of a different family from the 
preceding, and bore other arms, as also was the next and 
last Earl, Edmund Plantagenet. 

Saher de Quincy, created Earl of Winchester 1210 
exhibits on his seal two coats, viz. a fess with a label, 
and a fess between 2 chevrons* The first might have 
been his paternal coat or more probably his mother's 
Maud de St. Liz. The second seems to be that of his 
step-father Robert Fitz Richard, ancestor of Fitz Walter 
who bore that coat. The wife of Saher was Margaret 
sister and coheir of Robert Earl of Leicester, whose seal 
exhibits a cinqfoil. On the seal of Margaret are a cinq- 
foil, a mascle, 7 mascles, and the arms of Fitz Walter. 
This seal shows that it was sometimes the practice to 
place on the seal the arms of near relatives. The 7 mas- 
cles on her seal might therefore be the arms (and probably 
were) of her husband Saher. Their son Robert de Quincy 
bore according to the Roll of Arms Gules a cinqfoil ^r- 
mine whilst the eldest son Roger de Quincy Earl of Win- 
chester exhibits on & seal 7 mascles and a cinqfoil. The 
7 mascles are also on the seal of Robert Fitz Walter 


(along with his own arms) who married Alianor daughter 
of Margaret, who was d, and coh, of Eoger de Quincy, 

John de Lacy was created Earl of Lincoln, and died 
1240. He bore quarterly, over all a bend, and a label. 
This coat was evidently derived from his grandfather 
John de Lacy, who married Alice de Yere, Edmund de 
Lacy his son and heir never used the title, and I am not 
aware that his arms are known. But Henry de Lacy 
Ais son and heir. Earl of Lincoln, bore according to the 
EroU of Carlaverock or a lion rampant purpure. Jure 
uxoris he was also Earl of Salisbury, She and her aji^ 
cestors bore 6 lions rampant ; probably in respect of this 
match he assumed the purple lion, the unusual colour 
distinguislung it from the numerous lions borne at this 
period by the nobility and others. He died in 1312 
a time when all writers admit that hereditary bearings 
were fully established, though as before remarked, there 
were as many departures at this period from hereditary 
practice as a century previously, 

Having noticed these instances on the negative side 
of the question, I will now bring forward cases of my 
own to show positively that arms were hereditary from 
the earliest known period. 

Two members of the familv of Conyers in the 12th 
century bore a Maunche^ which was the subsequent 
bearing of the family for generations {:pide p. 178). 

A seal of Bichard de Lucy, before 1153, displays a 
fish or luce,' which the family bore for centuries after- 
wards (p. 178). 

Waleran Earl of Mellent who died 1166 bore chequy, 
which was continued by his family long afterwards (p. 
179), Eobert Earl of Leicester bore chequy temp. 
Richard I. deriving it from the same ancestor as Waleran. 
The families of De Warren, Clinton, and Newburgh, all 
bore chequy, deriving it as in the two last cases from 
their ancestor the Earl of Vermandois (Ibid,). 

Baldwin Earl of Devon, who died 1X55, bore a griffin, 
as did his son and grandson, Earls of Devon, The latter 
bore also a lion rampant which he derived from his mo- 
ther, a granddaughter of Henry I, And this monarch 



was the source of the lion or Uons borne by his descen- 
dants Wm, Earl of Gloucester, the Earl of Chester, and 
Roger de Creuilly. (p. 179.) 

Geofiiy Plantagenet, Earl of Anjou, who died 1151, 
bore 6 lions rampant ; this was the coat of his descen- 
dants the Earls of Salisbury for several generations (p. 

Rohais widow of Gilbert de Gaunt, who died 1156, 
sealed with 5 chevrons ; so did her daughter Alice (p. 

Swallows were borne on the shield of an Arundel temp. 
Henry II., and have ever since been their ^bearings, (p. 

Gilbert de Clare who died 1148 sealed with 3 chev- 
rons : this well known bearing has ever since been used 
by his descendants, as also by the Earls of Hertford and 
the family of Montfichet descended from his father, (p. 

The families of Braose, Bruce and Breuz^ descended 
from Robert de Brus who died 1094 all bore a lion ram- 
pant, (p. 202.) 

These examples are sufficient, but the preceding ge- 
nealogical tables exhibit numerous cases of families 
descended from a common ancestor living in the 12th or 
11th century all bearing substantially the same arms 
with differences of colour or otherwise. Fitz Warine and 
Burwardesleigh ; Fitz William and Rockley; Dawtryand 
Percy ; D' Albini and Mowbray, — ^bore identical coats, and 
were derived from common ancestors. Aubrey de Yere 
temp. Henry I transmitted his honoured coat of Quarterly 
to his descendants, the great families of Say and Beau- 
champ, Lacy and Mandeville. 

The catalogue of Seals of early periods will supply 
many other instances where the same arms were borne 
by the same family in the 12th and 13th centuries as in 
the succeeding centuries. 

II. The second of these theories is the one propounded 
by Mr. Nichols (p. 3) to supersede the conclusion that is 
obvious on finding similar coats borne by persons de- 


scended from a common ancestol* living at the time of the 
Conquest** This suggested solution of a difficulty may- 
be considered practically and theoretically. Practically, 
what do we find? Let us take the coat of Chequy. 
Temp. Richard I or later we find this coat borne by the 
Earl of Leicester, the Earl of Warren and the Earl of 
Warwick; and in France, by the descendants of the 
Earls of Mellent, by the Earls of Yermandois, and the 
lords of Beaugency. That collateral adoption at this 
period from whatever source, is not the explanation, 
earlier seals are evidence. As we have no early seal of 
the Earl of .Vermandois, and the earliest of this chequy 
coat is that of his son-in-law the Earl of Mellent, and 
the next that of the Earl of Leicester, we should be 
puzzled to know whom to fix on as the fons et origo of 
the presumed borrowed coats. We have five earls, co- 
temporary bearers of this distinguished coat of arms, two 
of them with foreign titles. The English earls would 
hardly adopt the ensigns of a French cousin, though a 
great personage, nor vice versa. That there was how- 
ever collateral adoption is considered a necessary conse- 
quence of the rejection of an alternative that involves a 
position Mr. Nichols regards as quite untenable. But 
after all, both alternatives are theories : the one necessi- 
tates a complexity of probabilities, and confiicts with 
universal notions of the pride, self-love, and jealousy of 
great men ; the other is simply the recognition of armo- 
rial bearings at the conquest, and the derivation of Jialf 
a dozen similar devices from a common ancestor of all 

* This explanation is the natural offspring of those views of lan- 
guage religion and customs which prevailed till Geology Philology 
and ArchsBological discoveries lengthened prodigiously the vista of 
the remote Past and threw back the Antiquity of Man into a pre- 
historic period whose duration we have not even approximate means 
of measuring. Until these enlarged views arose the Hebrew was 
supposed to be the parent of all languages; the Chinese were 
thought to have borrowed their civilization from the Egyptians, or 
vice versd; and generally the customs, the arts, the religion of one 
country were conceived to have been taken from those of another ; 
derivation from a common source being an opinion rarely hazarded 
as the explanation of tlie cotemporary existence of any usage, in 
different and widely-separated countries. 


the bedrers* Which then of the two theories is the 
most conformable to all the facts of the case, and to pro- 
bability ? The satne alternatives are presented in simi- 
lar cases. Did the potent Earls of Pembroke and Clare 
take their coat of 3 chevrons from each other, or from 
the Count of Hainault, who bore the salne ; or did they 
all derive it from a common ancestor ? Which was the 
original bearer of the Quarterly coat of De Vere ? Was 
it Say, or Mandeville, or Lacy, or Beauchamp, or was it 
De Vere, from whom all, or their wives were descended ? 
In this ^ we have an element that promises to eluci. 
date the question. The coat of De Vere contains a mul- 
let. This Mr. Planch^ says indicates a younger son, 
though this mark of cadency (which appUes to the thiM 
son, and Eobert de Vere the first known bearer of this 
coat was a second son) at this period was certainly un- 
known as such* The mullet does not appear in any of 
the other coats of quarterly. Why is this ? I will oflfer 
an explanation that, at the same time, I think shows 
who first bore this envied coat, and how all the rest who 
bore it derived it from him through descent. Aubrey 
de Vere, temp. Henry I had the Great Chamberlainship 
of England conferred on him, that was before held by 
Robert Malet. That Malet's coat of arms should have 
contained or have been a mullet, is probable from ana- 
logy, and further probable from being borne in the arms 
of Peyton, whose ancestor was a Malet. Was not then 
the mullet in the arms of De Vere a sign or symbol con- 
nected with his holding the office of Chamberlain, be- 
cause the heraldic and allusive cognizance of Eobert 
Malet his predecessor ? 

Theoretically considered, forcible objections start up in 
our path. If we had some positive evidence of the re- 
cent origin of armorial bearings, as the testimony of co- 
temporary writers (which we nowhere meet with, but on 
the contrary, where they are mentioned there is no re- 
mark that they are novel) or of the utter absence of any 
thing of the sort in former times ; if there were proof of 
their being a novelty of their kind, as postage stamps 
are in our own day, we should be driven to explain the 


cotemporary use of similar devices by accidental coinci- 
dence of choice, or by collateral adoption in the case of 
relatives, or by feudal imitation : but what better claim 
on our notice has the second explanation than a similar 
one to account for the same unusual Christian name 
being borne by distant cousins, when in three cases out 
of four it is owing to lineal inheritance, and not to adop- 
tion from collateral sources ? At the period, viz. at the 
end of the 12 th century, when it is said heraldry became 
general, and was adopted by persons of knightly rank, 
we may fairly compute their number in England at not 
less than 2000, including Barons. A century later, the 
roll of arms of Edward II gives the blazonry of upwards 
of 1100 Earls, Barons, and Knights, arranged in conn* 
ties. This roll certainly does not enumerate one half 
of the Baronage or Knightage of the time, probably 
not more than one third ; and we can't presume their 
number to have been so great during the previous cen- 
tury. We are called upon then to believe that of this 
large number, 2000, the greater part, in conforming to 
the fashion that had sprung up, depicted on their shields 
devices resembling those of their feudal lords, or of the 
heads of their families. The former source of derivative 
coats will be examined presently. Doubtless a majority 
of the knights of the reign of Richard I were first or 
second cousins to some potent Baron; but a considerable 
number though descended from perhaps a Domesday 
tenant of importance, and others, comparatively novi ho- 
mines^ must have been unable to boast of near kindred of 
a higher status than their own. Whose armorial bear- 
ings was this large class to adopt ? It is true that some 
of these could assume armes parlantes^ and at an early 
period we have proofs that they did ; but at best their 
number could be but limited, as family nomenclature in 
only select cases admits of it. 

But as we may imagine, even in the supposed infancy 
of heraldry, devices when once adopted, would not be 
permitted to be imitated by those having no authorized 
right, those knights who could not claim near relationship 
to a great earl or baron would have to find emblems that 


had not been appropriated* A vast range of objects was 
open to their choice, without infringing on the selections 
^eady made. Accordingly, we should expect to find in 
the Ordinaries of Arms an infinite variety of charges 
having such an origin. But we do not ; the number of 
distinct symbols is remarkably limited. Here the neces- 
sary consequences of the theoiy in question are the re- 
verse of coinciding with the facts of the case* Again, 
if this theory were the true explanation of the cotempo- 
rary nse of the same bearings at the era of their first 
adoption^ it follows that on meeting on seals of this pe- 
riod with similar devices we should at once pronounce 
their beard's scions of one house. In the foregoing pages 
many such are to be found ; are their owners relatives ? 
Hubert de Anesty and Saher de Quincy both bore a fess, 
yet were not related * Sir Adam de Bendenges and Sir 
Alan fitz Brian both bore three barsj yet were evidently 
strangers in blood, for we happen to know the parentage 
of all foui:. But however feasible and conceivable it may 
be to group similar bearings together and assign them 
one fatnily origin, it will not account for them out of 
such family circles. This theory will not explain the 
existence of Chequy in England and France, nor of 
Bendy in Burgundy and Normandy, nor of othet similar 
emblems throughout Europe. It might explain their 
adoption in each country, but it is a theory that again 
*' proves too much," and leads to this not very probable 
conclusion,— That the great men of half-a-dozen king* 
doms, having no connection or relationship^ should have 
spontaneously and silnultaneously fixed on such unmean* 
ing marks as geometrical divisions to distinguish their 
banners and shields on the field of battle. 

III. The theory of derivative coats, having been 
adopted by mesne tenants from theit feudal superiors is 
a theory* so generally held, and appears so feasible and 

* Camden in his " Bemaiiies " says " Whereas the Earles of Ches- 
ter bore garbes or wheatsheafes, many gentlemen of that countrey 
took wheatsheafes. Whereas the old Earles of Warwick bore 
chequy or and azure a chevron ermine, many thereabout took er- 
mine and chequy." But the Collections of Pedigrees in Ormerod's 


SO supported by facts, that its unsoundness can only be 
shown by a somewhat elaborate refutation* As a theory, 
undoubtedly, like many other plausible theories, facts 
may be selected to countenance it* Like the popular no- 
tions of comets producing hot summers, and changes of 
the moon influencing the weather, certain coincidences are 
in its favour* But as these notions are found by science 
not to be based on the relation of cause and effect, so 
the theory in question will be found on examination to 
be wanting in that necessary connection* Cases have 
been taken where the lord and the tenant bore a similar 
coat ; the fact has led to the inference that the feudal re- 
lationship was the cause of the resemblance or imitation ; 
the fact has been generalized regardless of strict induc- 
tion, and the inference has followed the process : no note 
has been taken of the great mass of cases where the arms 
of the lord and the tenant do not coincide. And it is a 
remarkable peculiarity of the logic of the question, that 
whilst the inductive method has been employed to pro- 
duce the opinion universally held, but by no means to 
its full and scientific extent, the reverse method, gene- 
rally of no avail, but here singularly applicable, viz. a 
priori reasoning, has been altogether lost sight of, or its 
employment would at once have invalidated the conclu- 
sions so confidently made. For every topographer well 
knows that a tenant in capite was frequently sub-tenant 
to one or more tenants in capite ; that sub-tenants who 
were not tenants in capite^ held of different chiefs in dif- 
ferent counties; that by marriage, sale, forfeiture and 
exchange, fiefs both large and small constantly changed 
hands* How then could the tenant be said to have 
adopted his coat armour from his feudal lord ? Whose 
of two or more chiefs was he to imitate ? Whose arms 
Were the numerous tenants of the King to take ? What 
ensigns could be adopted by the vassal of an abbot, or 
the feudatory of a bishop ? At the Domesday Survey it 
may be fairly presumed that the great mesne tenants 
Were sons or sons in law of their chief lord. The here- 

Cheshire dhoW tliat very few comparatively bore wheatslieafs in that 


ditary tenants recorded a century afterwards, in the 
Liber Higer^ were of course more distantly related, in 
many cases not at all : the relationship became more re- 
mote in the next record, viz. the Testa de Nevill^ temp. 
Henry III. Between the two periods we get at the era, 
temp* Eichard I. said to be the time of the general in- 
troduction of armorial bearings. One half at least of the 
tenants of the time of Henry III. may be presumed to 
have inherited their fees from an ancestor living temp. 
Henry II. What correspondence then do we find temp. 
Henry III. between the arms of the mesne tenants and 
their lords ? Take the case pf the tenants of the Earl 
of Warren in Sussex, who were 19 in number. Only 
one of these families has chequy assigned to it, and 
that is Pierpoint, who there is reason to believe inhe- 
rited it from an alliance with the family of his chief. 
The same want of general coincidence as far as can be 
traced will appear on examination in other instances.* 
But there are coincidences, — coincidences to be explained 
by alliance, as in the case of Sir Malger de Stanton a 
tenant of the " great Lord Albany," and also his son-in- 
law ; and that of Sir Gilbert Peche, whose wife was a 
sister of the great baron Eobert fitz Walter, whose arms 
he adopted, f 

* The two instances generally given in heraldic works as exem- 
plifying the practice, are the E£u*ls of Chester and the Earls of Lei- 
cester, whose tenants it is said adopted their chiefs device viz. in 
the former case a garb, and in the latter a cinqfoil. To verify the 
theory therefore it should be shown by examples (from seals or 
rolls) that in the case of the Earls of Chester, the last of whom 
bore garbs, being Eanulph Blundevil who died 1231, their tenants 
bore garbs likewise before that period ; and in the case of the Earls 
of Leicester, that their tenants who bore cinqfoils should trace their 
bearings to a not later period than 1204, when Bobert fitz Pamell 
Earl of Leicester, who died that year, was the last or only known 
Earl who bore a cinqfoil, the next two Earls, Simon de Montfort 
father and son, both bearing a lion rampant double queued. 

t Mr. Surtees in his History of Durham (iv. 62) has these obser- 
vations : " The arms of Balliol afford a complete instance of the 
imitative system of assuming armorial beanngs, which prevailed 
during the early period of the feudal system. Thus Bartram Baron 
of Mitford married the daughter of Gruy le Palnart of the race of 
Baliol, and bore or an orle azure, L'Espring also there is little 


But there are undoubtedly cases of resemblance be- 
tween the arms of the great Earl and the dependent 
knight that are not owing to marriage. These would 
seem to be when the tenant held his lands by virtue of 
performing the duties of sotne office to his superior, as 
steward, chamberlain, etc. and to denote this close con- 
nexion was allowed to adopt his coat-armour wholly or 
partially. Thus John de Arden temp. John seate with 
three garbs (p. 193) the ensigns of the Earl of Chester 
his feudal lord ; whilst the arms borne by his ancestors 
and descendants were altogether different** Again, 
Ealph, Earl of Chester gave to Walter de Beke certain 
lands, to which were probably attached certain official 
duties. John de Beke his descendant places on his seal 
a garb on either side of his cross moline.f And Mr. 
Drummond in his History of British Families gives an- 
other case in point in the following words : — 

** A branch of the elder Ardens settled at Huntona [Hampton] 
became extinct, ahd the heiress married Sir John Peche. His arms 
were a fess and 2 chevrons, but after his marriage he no longer used 
these arms, nor his wife's, but he took the arms of the then Earl of 
Warwick, his actual suzerain, changing the tincture of the crosslets 
and fess, Gules a fess between 6 crosslets arg. He was at one time 
during the minority of the heir Govemol' of Warwick Castle." 

This is a striking case in point,^ and shows the cause 
and meaning of the adoption of his lord's armorial bear- 
ings. If it were as feudal tenant simply that he took 

doubt nearly connected with the blood of Baliol bore Sable an orle 
argent (afterwards varied to an orle of martlets). Even individuals 
claiming no consanguinity [how is this known ?] but connected 
only [?] by tenure of lands, placed on their shield some portion of 
the bearing of their feudal chief. Thus Surtees who held Dimsdale 
of the Honour of Barnard added to his plain ermine shield the ex- 
act arms of Baliol, on a catiton gules an orle or. * * Baliol of 
Bamftrd Castle bore gules an orle arg. ; Alexander Baliol of Cavers 
bore the field or and the orle gules (Eoll of Carlaverock) and In- 
gelram Baliol retained the field gules with an orle of ermine, whilst 
Eustace of Cumberland bore argent an orle gules. More differences 
might be gathered out of ancient ordinaries. The equestrian seal of 
Eustace Baliol has an escarbuncle on the shield, but the shield of 
Hugh his successor displays the orle." 

* Topographer and G-enealogist, part III. 

t Mr. Montagu's Work. 


them, others who were in that position would have fol- 
lowed his example ; and every time the lord changed his 
coat-armour, or there was a new lord of a diflferent fa- 
mily, the tenants must have changed theirs in confor- 
mity also, — a state of things that must evidently have 
caused perpetual confusion. In fact one of the great 
purposes served by heraldic ensigns was to symbolize 
fiefs or lordships;* and numerous seals, as we have 
seen, exhibit two or three shields to denote not only alli- 
ances, but the properties accruing with them.f 

If any evidence were still desired that the mesne lord 
did not, as a customary practice or as a privilege, imi- 
tate the insignia of his feudal chief, it would be afforded 
in the iastances given by Mr^ Lower in his Curiosities of 
Heraldry (P. 34) where the Lord Audley as a special 
favour, and reward for their valour at Poictiers, allowed 
four of his esquires to bear his own fretty in their coat 
armour ; and the case of the Baron of Greystoke who, 

* Thus Ealph de Monthermer jure ux. Earl of GHoucester, at the 
siege of Caerlaverock led his followers on that occasion under the 
banner of Clare Earl of Q-loucester, whilst he* was himself vested in 
a surcoat of his paternal arms, which he also bore on his shield. 

t Madox in his Formulare Anglicanum (p. 124) gives the follow- 
ing quotation from an " ancient treatise of armory " in Bibl. Cott. 
Nero C 3 : " Sunt generosi et multi nobiles qui portant in suis ar- 
mis fusulos ; de quorum numero fuit Dominus mens specialissimus, 
qui portavit tres fiisulos rubios in campo argentio; qusB quidem 
arma portavit ratione certarum terrarum ad Baroniam de Monte 
acuto pertinentium.** 

Patrick Earl of March sealed with a lion rampant, also with a lion 
rampant with a bordure of roses, which Nisbet says (ii. 3) was a 
badge of his comital ofl5ce (Drummond's Britieh Families), 

John son of Peter de Neville of Wimeswould co. Leic, according 
to the roll of arms temp. Edward II, bore crusilly three leopards' 
heads jessant de lis — the basis of which evidently came from Canta- 
lupe, who had an interest in the manor. '^ These arms " retiiarks 
Mr. Drummond " seem to have been territorial, for all the families 
which owned the manor of Wimeswould bore the same. (Ibid.) 

The seal of Sir Walter Hungerford, K.Gt. (1426) exhibits the 
shield of Hungerford ; and on either side of it are banners of the 
arms of Heytes^ury and Hussey, the latter derived from his mother, 
and the former belonging to the lordship of Heytesbury, which had been 
purchased by his father m 6 Bichard II. The seal is figured in Bpu- 
tell's English Heraldry, and in the Herald and Genealogist (part ixv 
p. 76). 


20 Edw. Ill grants as a mark of distinotion a portion of 
his own bearings to Adam de Blencowe, to be borne in 
lien of his former coat.* 

IV. There is no opinion more generaUy or confidently 
expressed in works on Heraldry than that the Crnsades, 
if they did not entirely originate the practiceof armorial 
devices, yet gave the custom the full extension and de- 
velopment which it is supposed to have attained at the 
end of the 12 th century. This opinion seems to have 
been formed 1. from the fact recorded that, if not be- 
fore yet during the Crusade under Eichard I and Philip 
of France, heraldic symbols were in general use : and 2. 
from the circumstance of the prevalence of the cross, 
the crosslet, the crescent and the escallop in European 
blazonry, that these emblems were then first assumed 
as significant symbols of warfare by the Christian against 
the Mahomedan. Now Gefl&y de Vinsauf in his " Iti- 
nerary ^' of Eiohard I, speaks of the Crusaders as wear- 

* The feudal mode of derivation would in the first instance, at 
the Conquest, or a century afterwards, have been a simple and re- 
gular mode of developing a system of armorial devices from simple 
elements, if the feudal system itself had been as simple as is some- 
times supposed, and as in fact is impKed bv those who hold this 
theory of development of coat armour. If tne great tenants in oa- 
pile had their fiefs clearly defined like counties, and their mesne 
tenants theirs, like parishes, and there was no plurality or inter- 
mixture of tenure, nothing could have been simpler or more harmo- 
nious than the institution of armory upon such principles. But as 
we have seen, no such simplicity actually characterised the system, 
and nothing but confusion could have resulted from anv attempt at 
a science of heraldry based on the actual state of thmgs. There 
are other modes of originating an hierarchical system of personal 
symbols which might be carried out in the present day, but which 
was not practicable in the time of Henry II, nor it seems was any 
system but what actually prevailed, and had grown up as it were 
naturally without any central or authoritative arrangement or con- 
stitution. For example, a military system, symbols being appro- 
priated to the gradations of ranks of the army. Some such distinc- 
tions for the different orders of the state introduced during the time 
of the first Empire are indicated in Erench armory by some charge 
on a canton or a chief superadded to the personal arms, in the same 
way as we have the arms of Ulster as the badge of the Baronets 
placed upon their shield. 


ing ^^ helmets with crests," aad bearing " shields em- 
blazoned with Uons or flying dragons in gold"— a loose 
description certainly of the multifarious blazonry that 
must have been witnessed, but perhaps rhetorically 
speaking, a not unjust one on the principle of ex urio 
disce omnesj indicating that lions and dragons (? griffins) 
and such Hie w^re borne as devices on shields. If what 
are called " crusading symbols " were generally borne, 
the chronicler would surely have mentioned them as es- 
pecially characteristic ; but he neither does that nor does 
he state that the practice of painting the shield with 
lions etc. was a novel one. If on the assumption that 
every Crusader bore, antecedent to the Journey to the 
Holy Land, some kind of heraldic device, he superadded 
soJe cor^picuous cmsading symbol, such addition must 
have been common if not universal, and would have at- 
tracted notice ; and we should find in the coat-armour of 
known descendants of Crusaders one or more of these 
characteristic emblems. Tet what are the facts ? Any 
one who for the first time looks over the heraldic panels 
of the Salle des Croises at Versailles would expect to find 
these crusading symbols in every shield. There are there 
exhibited about 300 shields of known Crusaders, and 
whose arms or the arms of their descendants are known. 
Of these 300 not 30 — ^less than one tenth — contain any 
of these so called crusading symbols. And in England 
the arms of many Crusading families are totally. devoid 
of these supposed indications of having fought in Pales- 
tine. It is remarkable that some of our earliest coats of 
arms are geraty with cross crosslets ; two we have seen 
of the 12th century viz. De Eomara and Conyers, but it 
is doubtful if this has any allusion to the Crusades, for 
we don't find any coats geraty of crescents or escallops, 
at least at early periods, 

I think now the four theories I have examined, and 
that are considered by the writers of the sceptical school 
as their strong points, may be regarded as no longer 
tenable or of any value. If false notions are dispersed, 
the ground is cleared for the exploration of true ones. 


Est quoddam prodire tenus si non ultra datur. But I be- 
lieve, in the matter before us, unsound notions hide the 
truth, and being removed we shall get a glimpse of it. 
If armorial bearings were not originated by the Crusades, 
nor similar coats existing at the end of the 12th century 
were not adopted by tenants from their lords in the one 
case, nor in the other from collateral consanguinity, what 
alternative is there but to trace them upwards to a com- 
mon source, as in many cases we have been enabled to 
do, to the reign of the Conqueror or of his sons ? It only 
remains then' to make the comparison before intimated of 
English with Foreign Heraldry to complete the view of 
the whole subject, and thereby to justify the opinion ex- 
pressed in the outset, that Modem Heraldry did not first 
originate in the 12th century, but is substantially the 
inheritance bequeathed by the ancient Gauls and Ger- 

No one who looks over the early Eolls of Arms we 
have, or a collection of early armorial seals, can fail to 
have been struck, first, with the predominance of lions, 
half a dozen other objects, and parti-coloured coats ; and, 
secondly, with the total absence of the horse, and the 
rare occurrence, partially or wholly, of the stag, ox, 
goat, dog, wolf, or hare, and of a host of emblems that 
seem appropriate for symbols of a warlike class, as the 
sword, battle axe, bow and arrow, spear, and others of 
great significance. It is inconceivable if heraldry sprung 
up de novo in the 12th or even the 1 1th century, that a 
people fond of the chase, as the Normans were, should 
have selected as personal or family emblems none of the 
animals enumerated. The employment for such a pur- 
pose of linear divisions of the shield or banner, in pre- 
ference to some of the noblest and most symbolical 
objects of the animal world, or where that was not the 
case, the selection of not more than half a dozen of these 
by groups of families, exhibits an intention and a pur- 
pose that evidently conceals some prejudice or supersti- 
tion or necessity that must be worth knowing and that 
deserves investigation. Were heraldry confined to the 


Anglo-Normans, this enquiry would be perhaps an un- 
profitable one ; but as we have the opportunity of com- 
paring Anglo-Norman armory with that of most Euro- 
pean countries, such a comparison immediately, suggests 
itself as a means of explaining the anomaly. 

If then we turn our attention to the heraldry of 
Germany we find there the horse,* stag,f wolf, bull, 
bear, boar, and goat, not rarely, but frequently, amongst 
the coats of the nobles of the Empire, intermixed it is 
true with parti-coloured shields, and others containing 
lions, crescents, escallops, etc.if In Poland, we find 
another class of emblems wanting in England, and also 
in Germany: 160 families have a horse shoe in their 
shield ; many have swans, but the predominant charges 
are axes, spears, cutlasses, etc.§ The Spaniards exhibit 
crescents, letters of the alphabet, swords, fig-leaves, 
chains, rabbits, bulls, foxes, bears, wolves, and Uons, 
whilst the horse is rare.|| In Italian armory the serpent 

* The horse wajB the ancient ensign of the Dukes of Saxony and 
ftlso of the Electorate of Hanover. 

t The stag does not occur amongst the insignia of any of the 
luicient English Barons or Knights. It is met with as arms or 
crest in the Sussex families of Whiligh, Courthope, Wamett, and 
Bysshe. Perhaps these inherited their bejirings from Saxon dis- 
possessed proprietors. And probably many of the armorial em- 
blems of the Saxon thanes are to be found amongst the ancient 
arms of the minor gentry of England. 

The swan occurs amongst the heraldic insignia of the royal family 
of Denmark. Sweyn was the nam^ of one of their early mpnarchs. 
Adam Fitz Swein was a considerable proprietor in Yorkshire in the 
12th century. The Kentish family of Swan bear 3 swans in their 
arms. Possibly one of' this family gave name to Swanscombe in 
that county. 

Vide Spener, Insignia Familia Saxoniccs 4to. Erancfurt 1668. 
Menestrier Origine des Armoiriea, 

Argote enumerates twelve families who charge the chains of 
Navarre. Thirty-two families took the miraculous cross, which 
appeared to the Spaniards at Tolosa for their arms. The Saltire 
was assumed by thirty-five families of Castile, and thirty-two of 
Navarre at the taking of Baeza in 1227, which occurred on St. 
Andrew's day. * * One of the peculiarities of Spanish heraldry is 
the introduction of words and letters on the shield. * * The cres- 
cent is borne by many families. Thus the symbol of Astarte, Venus, 
and the emblem of Mahomet are revived in the type of the Imma- 
culate Conception of the Virgin, the Diana of Ephesus of Spain. 


and other objects seldom met with in England, are 
found, though its general characteristics resemble those 
of France and England, but with greater variety of 
combination and charge.* We have thus some materials 

Canting arms are very frequent. The Aqnilars assumed tlie eagle. 
The Figeroas took the fig-leaves, a most ancient charge, which 
Freron maintains in many folios was borne by Adam after the fall. 
Henninges describes the arms of the second or Libyan branch of 
Spanish Kings, 3 rabbits rampant. The rabbit is indigenous and 
was impressed on Spanish coins. The market at Rome was sup- 
plied with them from Cadiz. Hispania even has been derived from 
sephan, the rabbit, which the Phoenicians saw there for the first time. 
Cities took their arms from miraculous events. The generality of 
ordinaries [? charges] are of a religious, military, or hunting charac- 
ter as bulls, lions, foxes, bears, wolves. The horse is rare, though 
their Iberian ancestors impressed a mounted lancer with a star or 
crescent on their coins, whilst the Carthaginians at Cadiz used the 
horse as a figure head. — Quarterly Review, June, 1838. 

* Keating' s History of Ireland gives engravings of arms of native 
Irish families. These are strikingly different, many of them, from 
Anglo-Norman devices. The following list shows the prevalence of 
the " bloody hand of Ulster " in their bearings, which we have seen 
(p. 45) is found on Irish coins in the 11th century ; as also the 
boar, and combatant lions holding a sword or axe in their paws, — 
all characteristic of Hibernian blazonry : — 

More, Earl of Clancarty — Stag trippant. 

O'Donochoos — 2 foxes combatant. 

O'Carrills — 2 lions rampant holding a sword. 

O'Neales — 2 lions rampant holding a hand. 

O'Kellys — 2 lions rampant supporting a tower. 

Maguires — ^A man in armour on horseback. 

Macgeoghegans — Lion rampant between 3 hands. 

O'Daniel — 2 Hons rampant holding a hand, between 3 mullets. 

O'CaUaghans — A wolf issuing from a wood. 

0*Donovans — A hand holding a sword, encircled by a serpent. 

O'Breannons — 2 lions rampant holding a wheatsheaf. 

O'Meaghirs — 2 lions rampant holding a sword. 

O'Loghlins — A man in armour drawing a bow. 

O'Connor — ^A stag at gaze. 

MacEnierys (Erne) — An eagle. 

Neams — ^A griffin segreant holding in each paw a key. 

Froyhins — 2 griffins combatant. 

Bryams — ^A chevron between 3 boars. 

MacSwjnys — A fess between 3 boars. 

O'Crulie — A boar between 3 cross crosslets. 

Cuillens — A chevron between 3 hands. 

O'Deas — A hand holding a dagger between 2 serpents. 

O'Quins — The same, and 2 crescents. 



at hand that promise to explain the anomalies met with 
in early Anglo-Norman heraldry. But what interpre- 
tation shall we put on this diversity amongst nations in 
their choice, or more correctly, their use of armorial 
bearings ? Shall we suppose a Congress of Nations to 
settle what symbols each should adopt and confine them- 
selves to? If such a visionary scheme should for a 
moment be imagined, it would not meet the difficulties of 
the case. Geometrical arms and lions seem to have pre- 
vailed over the greater part of Europe.* That the latter 
should, on this theory, be chosen simultaneously may not 
be surprising ; but that the former should, is remarkable ; 
for as we have seen, the theory of derivation from the 
fastenings of the shield is untenable. We have seen that 
the royal lion or leopard of England was proudly borne 
by all those families whose alliance with royalty sanc- 
tioned its use. How is it that the lion is also found, in 
the supposed infancy of heraldry, as the bearing of many 
English nobles not so connected? How is it that the 
fleur de lis, the chosen symbol of the French kings is 
found frequently in the arms of English families in the 
1 3th century, who were not, and could not be descended 
from Louis le Jeune, who it is said first assumed it in 

0*Malley — A boa,r. 

O'Mullen — ^A hand holding a dagger between 3 crescents. 

Ma^Murrough — A lion rampant holding a battle axe. 

0*Brenon — A lion rampant, and 2 hands in chief. 

MacSwynies — 2 boars combatant — in chief 2 battle axes saltier 

* The intermixture of races and families throughout Europe 
would of course produce an intermixture of their armorial symbols 
with those of the people where they settled ; and probably Heraldry 
is destined to aid the investigation of the migration and settlement 
of certain races. But peoples of distinct origin will be found to 
have had distinct kinds of symbols. 

"The gradual intermixture of the Teutonic nations with those 
which had been civilized by the Bomans, and the ultimate settle- 
ment of the Normans in France, produced from the combination of 
military distinctions, the beautiful theory of Chivalrous Heraldry, 
which arose by so nice gradations that it is easier to trace its ad- 
vancement than to assign its origin ; although even the former is 
not minutely practicable in illiterate agGB.^^—Enc^clopadia MefrO' 
politana, art. " Heraldry." 


the middle of the 12th century ? At the pretended era 
of the birth of Heraldry, whose beginnings are said to 
be irregular and rudimentary, we find, as a general rule 
amongst different nations, a studious adherence to cer- 
tain unmeaning forms, a rigorous partiality for a few 
limited symbols, and an obviously intentional avoidance 
of others. It cannot be supposed that this was by con- 
cert,* no more than it can be supposed that it was by 

* Mr. Planch^ (p. 5) says " In the 12th century armorial bearings 
seem to have been adopted with one accord throughout Europe ; " 
and (p. 71) " The Norman monarch of England, the Kings of Scot- 
land, Norway, and Denmark, the native princes of Wales, the Dukes 
of Normandy, the Counts of Flanders, Holland, Hainault, etc., all 
about the same period, i. e. sooner or later during the 12th century, 
appear as with one accord to have displayed the lion as a device if not 
as a positive heraldic bearing : and that the lions of England may 
owe their origin to the assumption of one as a badge or cognois- 
sance by Henry I, previous to 1127, is exceedingly probable, for the 
following reasons : John of Salisbury tells us that Henry was sur- 
named tne Lion of Justice, and Mr. Sharon Turner in his History 
of England, remarks that this epithet was taken from the pretended 
prophecies of Merlin, which were then in great fashion and circula- 
tion. Affcer two Dragons, said Merlin, the Lion of Justice shall 
come, at whose roaring the Gallic Towers and island Serpents shall 
tremble. Such a surname would be sufficient to induce him to as- 
sume a lion for his badge, independent of any other motive [!] It 
may be also worth noticing that Henry's favourite residence in Nor- 
mandy, and the place where he died, was in the forest of Lions, near 
a little town of that name, and that his second wife Adeliza, whom 
he married in 1121, was daughter of G-odfrey first Duke of Lorraine, 
of which duchy the allusive arms were eventually [!] also a lion." 

These fancies are from the author of a work entitled " Heraldry 
founded on Facts ! " 

With respect to the kings and nobles above mentioned who Mr. 
Planche says " appear all with one accord " to have adopted the lion 
for their heraldic device in the 12th century, if true both in the 
statement and the motive assigned, it is one of the most remarkable 
cases of simultaneous movement acting under a common inspiration 
since the days of the Apostles. But however the fact, if capable of 
proof, may be accounted for, it proves too much, more evidently than 
Mr. Planch^ intended, for the preceding pages give a score of in- 
stances, showing that humbler persons than kings and counts also 
bore or took the lion for an heraldic device at the period in question : 
and there is one little fact rather dama^g to the theory of royal and 
princely personages as such adopting ttie " king of beasts " as a per- 
sonal emblem, viz. that the kings of France bore the simple fleur de 
lis : but of course exceptio prohat regulam, 



concert that a Welchman was called Mathew ap Herbert, 
and an Anglo-Norman, Mathew/fo Herbert. What so- 
lution then remains to reconcile all difficulties, and ex- 
plain all anomalies, but the simple one of Inheritance — 
inheritance through centuries from Teutonic and Gbllic 
and other ancestors ? 

But all this reasoning — ^all these comparisons — the 
testimonies of early mediaeval authorities — the resem- 
blance of Greek and Eoman symbols, and of Oriental 
devices — of almost every Heraldic bearing on ancient 
and mediaeval coins to the charges of admitted " Coats 
of Arms," — are of no avail with the school of Mr. 
Planch^ and Mr. Nichols. The latter gentleman indeed 
begins his inquiry into the " Origin and Development of 
Coat Armour " (p. 5), by these dogmatic and most illo- 
gical sentences : — 

" We consider it fruitless to inquire whether any other devices in 
any other part of the world have at any time resembled our system 
of armory. It is sufficient to know that the latter was not derived 
from them, nor had any connection with them whatever."* 

How do we "know" that there was no connection be- 
tween the two systems ? Before making such a bold as- 
sertion, Mr. Nichols was surely bound to produce some 
facts or the strongest negative and circumstantial evi- 
dence to prove that such a connection was impossible or 
improbable. What would be thought of the archaeologist 
who should confidently declare that Buddhist emblems 
found on sculptured stones in Scotland, and on British and 
Saxon coins of the early mediaeval period, had no connec- 
tion with precisely similar symbols met with in the East ; 
that they sprung up spontaneously in the West, and not 
by inheritance and transmission from the opposite quarter 
of the globe ? What would be thought of the philolo- 
gist who should affirm that the Greek and Latin tongues 
had no connection with the Sanskrit, nor were of cognate 

* Mr. Boutell in his English Meraldrt/ uses similar language. He 
says *' the heraldry of antiquity is to be regarded as the predecessor 
not as the ancestor of the heraldry of England. There may be 
much that is common to both, but there is nothing to show [?] the 
later system to have been a descendant of the earlier." 


origin, although a majority of the roots of all three lan- 
guages are identical ? If between the ancient and mo- 
dem practice there were an absolute gap of several cen- 
turies — a total blank — during which neither the custom 
nor any detail of it was heard of, mentioned, or left any 
trace behind, it would still be most remarkable that the 
two systems in minute observances should be so similar ; 
and cautious inquirers would be slow to pronounce an 
opinion adverse to a derivation of one from the other. 
There are it is true some inventions and customs spring- 
ing up in widely separated countries, and at great inter- 
vals of time, which arose independently. Such are the 
inventions of gimpowder and printing amongst the Chi- 
nese and in Europe : and the same may be said of some 
scientific discoveries. 

But in the case before us, although as previously re- 
marked, the early mediaeval period — the " dark ages " 
from the 5th to the 11th centuries — ^was very unproduc- 
tive in art or literature, and has left few remains behind, 
we notwithstanding get glimpses here and there of he- 
raldic emblems ; we have from the Notitia Imperii the co- 
hort devices of the Imperial legions, which contain many 
of the elements of modem coat armour ; we have the 
same elements on coins ; we have in the Le^es Hastilu- 
diales of Henry the Fowler, statutes regulating the use 
of family ensigns (whatever they might be). We have 
in the 11th century the evidence of the Bayeux tapestry, 
which we have seen to exhibit shields with devices ; and 
when we arrive at the end of the 12 th century, when 
Heraldry is said to have begun anew, as by a metem- 
psychosis, its infant life in Europe, after having lain dor- 
mant since the time of the ancient Greeks and Eomans, 
the evidence we have of what were the bearings then is 
such as shows anything but a new science, that " was not 
derived from or had any connection whatever " with the 
devices on the bucklers of the Greeks and the shields of 
the Romans ; but on the contrary reproduces them, many 
of them almost exactly, and others in combinations of 
the same elements, whilst the rest correspond with the 
descriptions of the painted shields borne by the ancient 


Germans aud Gkiuls as testified by Tacitus and Diodorus 

But so imt^nable and assailable was the dogma laid 
down by Mr. Nichols as quoted (m March 1865) that in 
the Herald for Nov. 1866 he qualifies it by the following 
not very unequivocal language (part xx p. 154): 

" In the 10th and 11th centuries there were in fact no armorial 
bearings whatever :* or [ ! ] i^ [ ! ] at that era aa^ particular sym- 
bols or particular colours can be identified as having distinguished 
certain nations, tribes, or families [!] such can only be accepted as 
the connecting link [sic in italics] between our heraldry and that 
which has been termed by analogy the heraldry of the earlier ages 
of the world." 

This " connecting link," to interpret the author's 
meaning fairly, may be likened to a narrow isthmus that 
joins two large continents. "We are to understand appa- 
rently, that the only tie between the ancient and modem 
systems of Heraldry, was the prevalence of the arms of 
" certain nations and tribes " and possibly of a few dis- 
tinguished '' families," which like the Trojans — 

Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto ; 
Anna virum tabulseque : 

" National arms,t and even certain tribal armorial in- 

* Mr. Montagu in his work on Heraldry has these remarks (p. 
14) : " I conceive that down to the Conquest we have no proof of 
heraldic bearings having become of general use, still less that he- 
raldry had become a science. There is every probability that He- 
raldiy was first known in the German Tournaments which were so 
frequent in the 11th and 12th centuries. In the reign of the second 
"William there is every reason to believe that her^dic distinctions 
began to be introduced." 

What has " general use" to do with the origin of a custom ? The 
*' general use " of Tea and Tobacco in this country was a century 
after their introduction. As to the date of herddry becoming a 
" science " there is proof enough from the examples we have, that in 
the time of Henry II it was as much a science as a century later. 
And the Le^es Hasfiludiales of the 10th century show the existence 
of stringent " regulations " concerning the bearing of coat armour 
which imply a system and a science. 

t Coexistent with regular coat armour kings and nobles assumed 
and used, to commemorate incidents or illustrate a sentiment, em- 
blematical or allegorical devices which were dropped and changed 
according to fancy. 


signia, as the raven of the Danes and the white horse of 
the Saxons, all heraldic writers admit to have existed 
during the entire mediaeval period. To these, however, 
they do not allow any other designation than that of a 
badge, a cognizance, or a device, as excluding a System 
composed of diversified materials, and subject to regula- 
tions in the use. But this concession or qualification 
comprehends a vast deal more than is intended by its 
authors. The number of tribes which History records as 
existing in Europe alone at any one time during the 
first ten centuries of the Christian era amounts to hun- 
dreds ; and the number of petty tribes and independent 
chieftains whose names are lost to us must have been 
tenfold.* The number of distinct heraldic devices borne 

Hichard Coeur de Lion is said to liave used for his device " a 
mailed arm holding a shining lance" with the motto Labor vires con- 
venit. He is also said to have used " a sun on two anchors " with 
the motto GhrUto Duce, £^g Stephen as Count of Blois is said to 
have sealed with the figure of a Centaur, the ensign of the city of 
Blois. (WiUement's Itegal Heraldry, where may be seen an account 
of the different badges and supporters used by the sovereigns of 

Wm. Mauduit temp. Hen. Ill sealed likewise with a Centaur. 
Wm. de Braose lord of Bramber who died 1326 sealed with this de- 
vice, — a lion passant sinister holding a bird in his paws, at his feet 
a cross moline, with a bird on the top of his tail. 

The royal arms of Spain have undergone many changes. * * Each 
sovereign assumed a separate and strictly personal device. The 
feminine gentle Isabella selected a bundle of arrows tied together, 
the emblem of the union of the crowns. The jealous despotic Fer- 
dinand chose the yoke which he imposed on subject and Moor, and 
to mark his equahty with his Castilian Queen he added the motto 
tanto monta, the true etymology of our word taniamount. Their 
grandson Charles V brought into the shield the quarterings of Aus- 
tria, Burgundy, Brabant, and Flanders ; the apostolic one-headed 
eagle gave way to the double headed eagle of the Empire. The 
shield was encircled with the golden fleece ; the Bagged Staff of 
Burgundy and the pillars of Hercules were added as Supporters, 
which are of rare occurrence in Spanish heraldry, and are in fact very 
much the fancy of Enghsh seal engravers. The imperial eagle was 
discontinued by Philip II when the Empire reverted to the Austrian 
branch. He added the arms of Portugal and of Flanders, impaling 
Tyrol. The Bourbon Philip V introduced the 3 Fleurs de lis of 
France on an escutcheon of pretence. — Quarterly Review, June, 

* All history testifies that kingdoms and empires have been com- 


at any time therefore by the heads of clans or tribes 
alone must have been as numerous as the coats of arms 
borne by the nobility of Europe at the present day : but 
at the time of Henry the Fowler at least, that is in the 
1 0th century, it appears that armorial bearings were used 
by all who could prove that their ancestors bore them for 
four generations. 

Distinctions may be drawn between the objects deli- 
neated on shields, banners, seals, and signet-rings : but it 
would be quibbling to refuse an heraldic character com- 
prehensively spealang to any device or symbolical figure* 

posed of an aggregation of clans and tribes, as it does that when a 
consolidated state or empire was broken up, it again resolved itself 
into a number of independent principalities of greater or less ex- 

On Chingtang, the founder of the dynasty, ascending the throne 
of the empire of China B.C. 1743, no fewer than 3000 nobles resorted 
to his court, the greater part of whom presided over petty kingdoms 
or states. (Journal of Boyal Asiatic Society, i. 84 ; art. on Ancient 
Chinese Vases.) 

A Durbar held at Delhi by Sir John Lawrence a few years ago 
was attended by 600 native princes. 

Manv facts tend to prove that in very early times Egypt was 
divided into independent sovereignties. Some authors expressly 
refer to contemporary princes. In the neighbourhood of Syria no 
less than 31 kings were expelled by Joshua from the small territory 
occupied by the Israelites west of Jordan (Joshua xii. 24). — Wa- 
then's Arts and Antiquities of Egypt. 

* The flippant sneer in the following passage from the article 
** Heraldry " in Brewster's Edinburgh JSncyclopigdia is evidently in- 
tended to discredit the heraldic character of ancient devices : " The 
dove of the Assyrians is according to all the interpreters of the 
Scriptures a figure of Semiramis. Yet this same dove is with Pie- 
rius an hieroglyphic, with Alicatus an emblem, with Bargagli a de- 
vice, with Caussin a symbol, and with M. de la Colombiere, a coat 
of arms !" But what matter these verbal differences when the cha- 
racter and purport of the thing intended are obvious ? " This dove" 
has borne a conspicuous part in the heraldry of medisBval and mo- 
dem times. It IS doubtless the bird exhibited on many regal seals, 
and many feminine ones, and like the star and crescent seen also on 
these, has probably been handed down from an Assyrian epoch with 
a religious significance long since forgotten or misconceived. It is 
probably the bird, four of which occur with a cross as a legionary 
ensign of Constantine, and which furnished the pattern for the Coins 
of Edward the Confessor and Stephen (p. 156) and the martlet is 
probably its modern heraldic equivalent. 

The crest, badge and cognizance of Heraldry have each definite 


represented in any of these ways, or as a crest, that is in- 
tended and exhibited as a personal, family, or national 
emblem. Great stress is laid by heraldic writers on 
what is called a " truly heraldic figure," and definitions 
only arising and necessary when the modes of armorial 
display were multiplied, are made to apply with a narrow 
technicality to periods and countries where probably he- 
meanings and are chiefly taken from the coat of arms. Thus the 
badge of Hungerford, a golden garb, was taken from the arms of their 
ancestor Peverell, who bore azure three garbs or. See an instructive 
chapter on Badges, etc. in Lower's Curiosities of JEOeraldry, as also a 
valuable article on " Banners, Standards and Badges, temp. Henry 
Vin" in Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica for March 1835, 
(pp. 49-76) from which the following is an extract : — 

" The use on seals of an heraldic figure distinct from the arms or 
crest, is extremely common at a very early date, and appears to have 
been generally used for the purpose of showing the descent or affi- 
nity of the bearer to other famihes, as the annulet of Vipont used by 
Clifford, and the garb of Chester by Lacy, afterwards shown by 
quartering the whole arms of heiresses with the paternal coat. 
Sometimes the badges were punning allusions to the bearer's name, 
as the long sword of Longespee, and the plantagenista of Flanta- 
genet. In the reign of King Edward the third, family badges were 
used with profusion to decorate the dresses, caparisons, furniture, and 
utensils ; and although the tournaments sometimes presented a de- 
vice fancifully adopted for the particular ceremony, still the princi- 
pal houses, in imitation of the royal family, had a distinctive mark 
for their retainers, which was no doubt at that time as well or better 
known than the personal arms or crest of their Lord.'* 

Five hundred years ago a man not entitled to a coat of arms 
would not publicly exhibit one [as at the present day] nor impress 
one on his seal. Its unlicensed use would expose him not only to 
punishment, but to popular derision. Accoroingly, if in trade, he 
used his merchant's mark, or if not of gentle blood, he used a De- 

But these devices of multifarious kinds, whether religious or per- 
sonally allusive, or emblematic of the owner's tastes or character, or 
of some incident in his career, were not only used by those not en- 
titled to coat-armour, but simultaneously with it by those who were ; 
and the two were not convertible ; they were distinct in use and 
origin. " It has been supposed " remark Mr. Way and Mr. Wal- 
ford, in an article on Seals in vol. v of the Archaeological Journal^ 
" that the birds, animals, flowers, etc. which appear on seals late in 
this period (12th century) were on the introduction of heraldry 
adopted by the individuals who had borne them, as part of their 
armorial ensigns ; but a careful examination of a number of ex- 
amples shows that such was not the fact ; armorial bearings on the 


raldry was never carried to the same pitch of refinement 
and diversity a^ amongst the English in the reigns of 
Edward III and Richard II, when the especial charac- 
teristics of modem heraldry took the defined forms of 
Coat of arms, Crest, Supporters, Impalements, Quarter- 
ings, Motto, Badge and Cognizance. Even in the palmy 
days of armorial display, allegorical representations 
(which occur amongst Welch coats) Letters of the Al- 
phabet, and other unusual objects depicted on the shield, 
were considered proper '' coats of arms."* 

seals of the same persons are generally composed of heraldic charges 
whoUy different." 

Examples of devices used by those who bore coat armour abound. 
The family of Falconer or Michelgrove (who bore, quarterly a falcon 
over all) testified their love of field sports by sealing with the device 
of a hound couchant, surmounted with the word Michelgrove. (Cart- 
wright's Bape of Br ember, p. 75.) The familv of Newdigate of New- 
digate CO. Siurey, of knightly rank, sealed with two different devices, 
the one of inexplicable meaning, the other a rebus on the name. A 
deed of William de Newdegate, 1328, has an oval seal containing 
four acorns arranged in the form of a cross with the legend " S. 
Wiiri de Newdegate." Thomas Newdegate, in 1496, uses a small 
round seal with the letters " nu " over the representation of a gate, 
between the portals of which is the letter D ; an imperfect rebus 
however as the whole is not pictorial. — Herald and Genealogist^ 
January, 1868 ; art. " Fanciful and Imaginary Armory," p. 61. 

* It is not improbable that a part, and that the most ancient, of 
Welch heraldry is an inheritance from the British Eomans. As the 
Saturday Review remarks (June 15, 1861) " Mr. Wright certainly 
produces evidence that Wales was much more thoroughly Roman- 
ized than is commonly supposed." Some of the shields of the oldest 
Welch families have very different representations from those of the 
Normans. Many of them are what may be termed legendary pic- 
tures, as a wolf issuing from a cave, a cradle under a tree, with a 
child guarded by a goat, etc. These it will be seen have a close 
resemblance in their character to some of the bearings of the Greeks 
and Eomans. 

" G-erman blazonry employs even a still greater number of ani- 
mals of all sorts than our own ; and they are usually disposed after 
a manner which shocks the eye of an English herald; as for example 
foxes talking to a crow in a tree, wolves looking in at a window, 
hares holding a conclave, — seeming in truth more like illustrations 
from JEsop's fables, or the odd representations sometimes seen on 
country sign posts of a " goose and gridiron " " cat and fiddle " etc. 


But to return to the question, what is a ^^ connecting 
link " ? It may be to join discordant things or homo- 
geneous ones. The phrase is generally used as signify- 
ing that which unites a preceding with a succeeding 
aeries. There could be no "connecting link" for ex- 
ample between the civilization of Ancient China and 
that of the Eoman Empire, for there was no tie or 
sequence between the two. But the feudal system was 
the "connecting link" with the civilization of the Eo- 
man Empire and that of modem Europe. Here there 
was a succession, an intermixture, a fusion of ideas and 
customs. And this general characteristic applies to the 
particular custom of warlike and family ensigns. The 
European blazonry, as we know it, of the 13th century, 
is an embodiment of the devices of the progenitors in 
race, and the predecessors in territories, of the Euro- 
pean peoples of that period. It is an unbroken stream, 
receiving accessions from tributaries here and there, 
whilst some issuing rills may have altogether dried up. 
This stream that has flowed from the earliest times may, 
like a great Equatorial river, be undiscoverable in its 
origin, and like the Arcadian streams, and the Mole in 
Surrey, be hidden from view through much of its course, 
but its current is continuous^ and therefore unlike two 
seas that are separated by half a continent, and that have 
no connection. 

To apply and exemplify this metaphorical language 
to the sequence of heraldic symbols would be to go over 
ground already traversed : the various arguments and 
facts in the preceding chapters which tend to show the 
succession by adoption or inheritance, through genera- 
tions and in various countries, of warlike and religious 
emblems, it would be superfluous and tedious again to 

than the legitimate charges of heraldic escutcheons. We are re- 
minded of an anecdote of Napoleon who while inspecting the quar- 
terings of his illustrious father in law — a perfect Noah's Ark — is 
said to have remarked slily ^^Parbleu! il y a heaucowp (TanimaiM dans 
cette famille-la.'^ — Quarterly Review, April, 1836. 


What then is the " conclusion of the whole matter " ? 
The problem is to ascertain the origin of Heraldry. K 
a solution is attempted on insufficient data, and that in- 
Yolyes assumptions at yariance with acknowledged facts, 
analogies, and established propositions, it is obyiously a 
false one. Such a one I belieye that to be which dates 
the origin of armorial bearings from the 12 th century : 
and its inadmissible conclusions necessarily lead to others, 
which constitute the proposition that modern Heraldry 
was in existence at the Norman Conquest, is an inheri- 
tance from the ancient Gauls and Germans, and from 
the nations of antiquity, as directly and in the same 
sense as the Italian language was deriyed from the 
Latin ; and this I conceive is proved both deductively 
and inductively, but above aU by that indirect de- 
monstration csJled by mathematicians a Beductio ad 

p **^ami^^^^^i* 




Mr. FERaussoN, in his History of Architecture, gives utterance 
to this dictum : — 

The common instincts implanted by nature in all the varieties of 
the human race, lead aU mankind in certain climates, and at a cer- 
tain stage of civilization, to do the same thing in the same way, or 
nearly so, even without any teaching, or previous communication 
with those who have done so before. 

This language, from one who has surveyed the Architecture 
of every age from Cliina to Peru, and is familiar with its infi- 
nite diversities of style, is little in accordance with the facts he 
has so completely mastered, and which he treats so elaborately 
in his splendid work. If Mr. Fergusson's proposition were 
true, not only the forms of Architecture but of Language would 
be everywhere the same ; alike at the commencement of Man's 
career on the earth, as at every successive stage of his Pro- 
gress and Existence. Like causes undoubtedly produce like 
effects. The animal instinct is everywhere and at all times the 
same, and its impulses have an invariable result. The bird 
builds its nest, the bee makes honey and forms its cell, in all 
ages and places in the same manner. All the creatures of one 
species perform their natural functions in exactly the same 

254 Appendix. 

way ; the fish swims, the bird flies, the hare runs, the serpent 
moves, precisely now as thousands of years ago. The same 
observation applies to all the animal functions of Man in a 
state of nature. But from the moment the Mind begins to act, 
it becomes a mirror that reflects surrounding objects in all 
their vast variety, and their incessant changes of appearance ; 
till its accumulated impressions and commingled forms are in 
no two cases ahke, and in most cases are widely difierent both 
in their nature and combination. No two minds were therefore 
ever alike ; not even those of two brothers brought up together 
and living and dying on the same spot ; still less the minds of 
any two persons of totally difierent origin, and living in oppo- 
site quarters of the globe. 

Every thing therefore that distinguishes man from the brute, 
and is the especial characteristic of his nature, — ^the product of 
his mind, the offspring of his thought and reasoning powers. 
Language, Laws, Religion, Customs, and Arts, have in all 
times and countries been as diversified and multifarious, and as 
perpetually changing, as the infinite natural productions and 
forms which beautify or vary the face of the physical globe. 

Yet the marvellous progress that the mind of man has made, 
and the wonderful civilization that he has attained, have arisen 
not from the minds of the many but of the few : all the great 
discoveries and inventions which have from time to time given 
an impetus to the onward progress of the race have been pro- 
duced at long intervals of time, and after laborious thought ; 
the few have invented and discovered : the many have followed 
in the path opened up to them. The imitative principle of our 
nature in the infancy of our race as now, was by far more active 
than the inventive principle. Like the centre of a revolving 
body as compared with its circumference, the latter is compara- 
tively at rest. The simplest arts of life must have been 
acquired by imitation. Man was led to — 

" Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield ; 
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field : 
His art of building from the bee receive : 
Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave ; 
Learn of the little nautilus to sail, 
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.'* 

If in modem times, as we know, most of the inventions of 


which the civilized man of the present day enjoys the benefit, 
sprang up each in one spot or country, and from one mind, and did 
not arise simultaneously in many lands, we may be pretty cer- 
tain that the analogy will apply to the infancy of man ; and that 
the simplest weapons of war and processes of art, were each the 
productions of some one inventive genius. And as every his- 
torical discovery has given a superiority of some kind to the 
race amongst whom it was made, so in like manner, in the pre- 
historic period, any usefal invention must have given a great 
advantage to the people to whom it was first made known. 

The primaeval man could have had no other weapon of at- 
tack or defence than a club and a stone. The invention of the 
sling, the bow and arrow, and the flint-headed lance, must 
have given a great superiority to those who were made ac- 
quainted with their use. When once these inventions were 
made they must have spread, and until they became universal, 
the people, ignorant of their use must in any contest have been 
beaten, just as savages of the present day with their rude 
weapons of the bow and the spear, succumb to the employment 
of fire arms. As other inventions succeeded each other, and 
gave the people first acquainted with them an advantage, there 
must soon have existed on the face of the globe a variety of 
races who at the same time were in diflferent degrees removed 
from the helpless natural state of man. And all history records 
this simultaneous existence of nations in widely different stages 
of civilization — of this partial and gradual diffusion of inven- 
tions and discoveries. 

If this be not the true theory of the origin and progress of 
discovery — if the opposite of this be true — ^then we should find 
inventions radiating from independent centres ; how numerous, 
depends on the extent to which mankind were spread over the 
globe at any given or assumed period. The consequences must 
have been a much more rapid advance of civilization and the 
arts of life than has actually taken place ; a greater resemblance 
throughout the world than has ever existed at any one time in 
language, religion, manners, and customs; the emergence of 
every race and people by nearly equal steps of progression from 
a barbarous and savage state, and their present attainment in 
co-ordinate degrees of the highest civilization compatible with 
the modifying influences of climate and geographical position. 


But the known fects of the case are not favourable to this 
alternative theory. In modem or in recent times savages have 
been found whose condition is scarcely a grade beyond that of 
monkeys and parrots ; who have no clothing, no weapon save a 
club, whose speech is a mere jabbering of uncouth sounds, who 
have therefore no language, no notion of a God or of a soul, or 
names for them, who can't count ten, who have no moral ideas, 
whose dwellings are caves, and whose subsistence is on roots 
and reptiles and wild fruits. These aborigines must have re- 
mained in this state for thousands of years. They could not 
have degenerated from a superior race. No isolation however 
complete and long-continued could operate so as to extinguish 
the elements of a constantly spoken language and destroy the 
knowledge of the commonest arts of life when once acquired.* 

* The religious notions, the traditions, and many of the arts pos- 
sessed by many savage tribes, especially of the South-Sea Islanders, 
must have been derivative. These tribes must be descended from 
remnants of more civilized and superior races, from whom they have 
been cut off by geological changes that left them in a state of com- 
plete isolation. And probably alterations in the relative positions 
of land and water on the face of the globe may have caused the great 
variety and dispersion of races, by keeping branches of the same 
stock asunder without any intercommunication for thousands of 
years ; thus allowing time for a great degeneracy to take place on 
the one hand, and on the other for the growth of new habits, cha- 
racter, and physical conformation. If the sandy plains of Central 
Asia, and the Great Desert Sahara of Africa, are upheaved beds of 
former seas, as is thought, — if Australia and the islands of the South 
Pacific Ocean, if the West Indian islands and Ireland are remains 
of vast continents, — such great changes of the earth's surface are 
sufficient to account for the extraordinary phenomena to be met with 
in Ethnology. 

Physical Geography, however, will explain the cotemporary ex- 
istence now as always of civilized and semi-barbarous races. The 
inhabitants of mountainous districts are generally inferior in civiliza- 
tion, though often superior in physical strength and the simple 
virtues, to those of neighbouring plains ; and are generally of an 
earlier race. This is accounted for ; as a conquering people occupy 
a new country, that portion which prefers independence to subjuga- 
tion, flee to the mountains and waste places, where there is no 
temptation to pursue them, and they are therefore left unmolested. 
An inhospitable soil and remote corners of the earth in the same 
manner are the resort of a weaker pushed on by a stronger race ; and 
there it remains for centuries in a stationary condition, receiving none 
of the benefits of civilized races, because never coming in contact 
with them. Accordingly the Esquimaux, the Lapps, the Einns, and 
the other denizens of Arctic regions are in the most primitive state. 


We have cases, then, in many parts of the globe where whole 
communities have lived since the first appearance of beings in 
the form of man on the earth, after the manner of herds of wild 
cattle, without, in that long interval, having improved a siagle 
faculty, or given birth to the simplest or rudest invention of 
common life. 

What, then, were the conditions and firsi^ beginnings of 
man^s emergence from a state of nature? The conditions 
must evidently have been much more favourable than those 
under which lived for such a vast period the communities just 
spoken of. A genial climate, a productive soil, abundance of 
animals and fruits for food, the existence of plants that could 
be used for textile purposes, the presence of flints or of some 
mineral, a numerous population, occupying the sea-coast, the 
river-side, and mountain-slopes, with constant intercommunica- 
tion, — ^all these circumstances would combine, by the diversity 
of their appliances and their influences, to sharpen man's wits, 
to stimulate his invention, to quicken his imagination, and 
eventually, in the lapse of ages, to produce first, a general ad- 
vance, however slight, in intellectual capacity, and afterwards 
some one semi-barbarous genius who might construct a flint- 
edged hatchet, or invent the bow and arrow, build a log-hut, 
make a net, weave a mat, or discover how to produce fire. 
For such analogous influences and conditions, we know histori- 
cally, have produced the two finest races of their respective 
eras the world has ever seen — ^who had attained the highest 
development of which man's mixed nature is capable — ^the 
Greeks of the ancient world, and the Normans of the modem. 
This production, from the co-operation of a variety of causes, of 
a superior race, acts as a powerful lever to raise immensely all 
those peoples who are impressed with their genius, and come 
within reach of their influence. And this elevation, in its turn, 
gives birth to new ideas, and to fresh discoveries, by developing 
dormant faculties, by extending and enlarging existing powers, 
and increasing the general intelligence and capacities of *men. 

In this way, then, by a slow and gradual process — by a 
succession of steps, built laboriously one upon the other — ^by 
the combination of agencies generated by various climatqs, and 
by different peoples, has the mass of mankind, through incal- 
culable periods of time, been slowly lifted up to its present 



position of mastery and dominion. But this progression has 
not been constant and unvarying; it has received frequent 
checks ; and often, like the tide, receded, but, like the waves of 
the sea, has again advanced with redoubled force. The aggre- 
gation of states and the formation of an empire, which is equi- 
valent to and the condition of the production of a particular 
phase of civilization, and sometimes the voluntary or enforced 
isolation of a peculiar people, have at different eras, and in dif- 
ferent parts of the world, accomplished some special purpose.* 

* Dr. Temple's admirable essay on the " Education of the "World" 
in Essays and Reviews^ furnishes some excellent illustrations of the 
remark in the text. It would occupy too much space to quote them 
with the context ; they are therefore necessarily disjointed and un- 
connected : — 

It is not difficult to trace the chief elements of civilization which we 
owe to each of the four [divisions, Eome, Greece, Asia, and Judsea]. 
Home contributed her admirable spirit of order and organization. To 
her had been given the genius of government. She had been trained 
to it by centuries of difficult and tumultuous history. * * That 
which feeligion was to the Jew, Law was to the Eoman. And Law 
was the lesson which Eome was intended to teach to the world. * * 
To Bome we owe the forms of local government which in England 
have saved liberty, and elsewhere have mitigated despotism. Jus- 
tinian's laws have penetrated into all modem legislation, and almost 
all improvements bring us only nearer to his code. Much of the 
spirit of modern politics came from Greece ; much from the woods of 
Oermany. But the skeleton and frame-work is almost entirely 
Eoman. * * 

To Greece was entrusted the cultivation of the reason and the 
taste. Her gift to mankind has been science and art. There was 
little in her temper of the spirit of reverence. Her morality and 
her religion did not spring from the conscience. Her gods were the 
creatures of imagination, not of spiritual need. Her highest idea 
was not holiness, as with the Hebrews, nor law as with the Eomans, 
but Beauty. * * To the Greeks we owe the logic which has 
ruled the minds of all thinkers since. All our natural and physical 
science really begins with the Greeks, and indeed would have been 
impossible had not Greece taught men how to reason. * * To 
the Greeks we owe all modem literature. For though there is other 
hteratjare even older than the Greek, the Asiatic for instance, and 
the Hebrew, yet we did not learn this lesson from them. * * 

Asia sought her inspiration in rest. She learned to fix her 
thoughts on another world, and was disciplined to check by her 
silent protest the over-earthly, over-practical tendency of the West- 
ern nations. * * The Western nations are always tempted to 
make reason not only supreme b^t despotic, and dislike to acknow- 
ledge mysteries even in religion. They are inclined to confine all 


Empires have gone through the stages of infancy, a vigorous 
life, and decay ; whilst the seeds generated by dissolution, have 
given birth to new forms of life, to improved races, to purified 
ideas, to an increased development of the intellectual part of 
man's nature ; and his ferocious and merely animal instinct^, 
whose sole indulgence places him on a level with the brutes 
that perish, have been proportionately mitigated and subdued. 
This view, therefore, of Man's Progress is opposed to the 
abstract notions noticed at the commencement of this chapter. 
The experience of history teaches us that men do not even " in 
certain cUmates, and at a certain stage of civilization,'' ^^ do 
the same thing in the same way." Whatever may have been 
the respective origin of the Chinese and the Egyptians — ^whe- 
ther one people was an off-shoot of the other, or, what is more 
probable, both came of one stock, their climate and their civi- 
lization seem to have been at a given period on a par ; yet their 
architecture, their hieroglyphics, and many other of their cha- 
racteristics, were widely different. The stage at which the 
cuneiform characters of the Persians and Assyrians were in- 
vented, was probably about the same stage of progress as that 
which witnessed the birth amongst other peoples of hieroglyphi- 
cal and alphabetical characters. Yet how is it that such simple 
marks were thought of and formed into a system by one people 
alone ? How is it that the simple idea of the circular arch in 
building was not known or applied till 600 years B.C., and then 
only partially, and in two countries — Etruria and Egypt? 
How is it that it was not known, or if known, not practised by 
the Greeks at all ? How is it that the pointed arch, or the 
Gothic style of architecture, was not discovered earlier, and was 
discovered, or first arose, in a stage of civilization, that, though 
advanced in moral and religious ideas, was inferior in all essen- 

doctrines within the limits of spiritual utility, and to refuse to listen 
to dim voices and whispers from within, those instincts of doubt and 
reverence and awe, which yet are in their place and degree messages 
from the depth of our being. Asia supplies the corrective, by per- 
petually leaning to the mysterious. "When left to herself she settles 
down to baseless dreams, and sometimes to monstrous and revolting 
fictions. But her influence has never ceased to be felt, and could 
not be lost without serious damage. 

Thus the Hebrews may be said to have disciplined the human con- 
science, Eome the human will, Greece the reason and taste, Asia the 
spiritual imagination. 

s 2 


tial characteristics to the civilization of Greece and Rome ? 
How is it that if all minds are constituted alike, and achieve 
similar resnlts, that so many diflferent languages have arisen- 
that different races should have expressed the same ideas and 
denoted the same objects by such a vast and widely different com- 
bination of sounds ? How is it that gravitation was not disco- 
vered by Aristotle ? — ^that the mariner's compass, the art of 
printing, and the manufacture of a watch, were not the disco- 
veries of the most intellectual people of antiquity — ^the active- 
minded, the imaginative, the inventive Greeks ? 

Reflection and observation give answers to these questions. 
As before remarked, no two minds were ever alike ; or what- 
ever resemblance there may at any time be between two minds, 
the succession of minds exposed to the action of diverse influ- 
ences, produces the widest divergence, and often the most 
opposite characteristics. This being so, it may be asked why 
do we find so great a uniformity as actually exists in the arts 
of life, in customs and laws, and religious ideas ? Simply 
because the imitative faculty in man as previously noticed is 
immeasurably more exercised than the inventive faculty. We 
follow in the groove cut out for us, as water flows in the channel 
which it finds open to its course. We act, we think, afber a 
pattern. We follow the guidance of our leaders. We adopt 
the opinions of the Newspaper and Review; we conform in 
dress and habits of life to the fashion set before us ; except in 
our own particular province, we cannot each for himself, prove 
all things, and hold fast that which is good ; were that process 
obligatory, who would be sufficient for these things ? The 
pattern, the example, the idea, is the result of the slow growth 
of innumerable agencies, that eventually converge to a focus, 
and culminate in the production in one man's brain of an idea, 
or a discovery that henceforth becomes the common property, 
the rich possession of all his fellow creatures. 

Of the origin of most of the widely-spread inventions which 
have been enjoyed by the civilized world from time immemorial, 
we know nothing but what a dim and mythical tradition has 
handed down. When and by whom words were organized into 
language, and a grammar was constructed ; when pictorial re- 
presentations became hieroglyphics and were made to stand for 
ideas, and above all when the great achievement of an alphabet 


was accompKslied, — of all or any of this we are entirely ignorant. 
But we know the history of most modem discoveries,— of print- 
ing, of the mariner's compass, of clocks and watches, of fire 
arms, of the steam engine, of photography, of the electric tele- 
graph, of postage stamps. Each of these discoveries emanated 
from one mind, though improved and perfected by successive 
minds, every improvement being in fact a minor and subordinate 
discovery. Whatever general resemblance there may be be- 
tween the groups of ideas in many men's minds, on a particular 
subject, there is always some striking additional element in the 
notions of the real discoverer who elaborates an idea, who de- 
monstrates a theory, or completes an invention. It is like the 
diflference between two chemical bodies composed of the same 
ingredients, but in diflferent proportions, or with the presence 
of a new element : the respective combinations have properties 
of an entirely different nature. 

If we analyse ordinary conversation, and written composition, 
we shall find it composed of phrases and combinations of words 
that we have been taught or have learned. A happy phrase, 
the expression of a rare conjunction of ideas, is an invention, and 
in the exact form given by one author is rarely if ever presented 
by a cotemporary and independent writer.* Thoughts and ex- 
pressions that are not quite cotemporary are often found to be 
plagiarisms, and an entirely new idea or phrase is one of the in- 
ventions, not very common in literature. No two English poets 
were perhaps so remarkable for original phraseology as Shak- 
speare and Pope; none have so happily expressed common 
ideEts, and none are so constantly quoted, or whose terse and 
pregnant aphorisms have entered so largely into familiar dis- 
course. As in language so in the arts. We follow models and 

* In the Satwrday Review of a few months siuee, there appeared 
an article entitled " The Girl of the Period," which has attained 
much celebrity. The phrase has given a title to songs and dramatic 
pieces, and is used in writing and speech " to point a moral or adorn 
a tale." It has become part and parcel of familiar discourse, like a 
phrase of Shakspeare. Probably before this article appeared this 
particular phrase would not be found in the whole body of English 
literature : but now like many other original collocation of words, 
as Brougham's " The Schoolmaster is abroad," Talleyrand's " Apres 
moi le deluge," and Napoleon's adage " C'est le premier pas qui 
co&te," it has acquired a popularity not confined to the United 


patterns. Our clothes, our furniture, our houses are all made 
pretty much alike : we travel over Europe, and find each country 
has its type in these matters, all difiering from each other. 

We are now prepared to consider how the foregoing theories 
and views bear upon the question of the ^' unity or diversity of 
the origin of Heraldic Devices and of Ornamentation.^* But 
primarily, this question depends upon the more general question 
of the unity or diversity of the Origin of Mankind. This wider 
enquiry however is yet necessarily in an inchoate state ; for the 
conclusions of Philology and Ethnology, on which it depends, 
are uncertain and indeterminate, and probably for generations 
are likely to remain so. Still as far as those sciences have ad- 
vanced — and they have advanced very considerably and are 
making rapid strides — the preponderance of evidence is de- 
cidedly in favour of the unity of the origin of Mankind.* And 
this view is strongly borne out by the important testimony of 
Analogy. Mr. Darwin in his work on the Origin of Species 
(p. 542) thus sums up his opinion on the subject : ^' Finally the 
several classes of facts which have been considered in this 
chapter seem to me to proclaim so plainly that the innumerable 
species, genera, and families of organized beings with which this 
world is peopled, have all descended, each within its own class 
or group, from common parents, and have all been modified in 
the course of descent, that I should without hesitation adopt 
this view, even if it were unsupported by other facts or argu- 

If then Language, Religion, Laws, Customs and the Arts, 
are but developments of a few primordial germs and ideas^ 

* The scholars who are the best competent to give an opinion as 
to the final results of Comparative Philology believe that all re- 
searches are tend^ig more and more to the establishment of the 
common origin of language. # # # Chevalier Bunsen's great 
discoverv, stated in his own words, is that the Egyptian and perhaps 
the African man in general, is a scion of the Asiatic stock, which 
gradually degenerated into the African type. * * According 
to his view, Egypt is a colony which started from the central plains 
of Asia, before mankind was divided into the families of Shem and 
Japhet. * * Egyptological discoveries give a considerable sup- 
port to the hypothesis of the original unity of mankind and of a 
common origin of all languages on the globe. — Edinburgh Review^ 
Oct. 1851, Art. " Comparative Philology." 


there seems no reason prima facie^ why the particular custom 
of heraldic devices^ and their multifarious combinations of a few 
primitive elements^ should have been produced independently 
instead of from a common centre. If groups of languages are 
but developments of a few primitive roots^ these roots must 
have originated in one country and amongst one people."*^ Here 
we have an exact parallel, or at least a close analogy to the case 
of the origin of heraldic devices, on the supposition that they 
proceeded from one source. We have only to entertain the 
reasonable hypothesis that at a particular epoch in man^s history 
a particular race had so far advanced above their fellow-creatures 
in the arts of life, as to be acquainted with other than the rudest 
weapons of attack and defence — to be divided into tribes and 
families — to have had some experience of systematic warfare — 
and to be raised above the condition of the mere animal savage 
•■ — ^we have only to assume this natural state of things to account 
for the origin under such circumstances of the elements of 
Heraldry; and as in the case of the Aryan race, that this 
people or a portion of them went forth over th^ face of the 
globe " conquering and to conquer '^ and imparted their nascent 
civilization and customs to the inferior races whom they subdued, 
established them on unoccupied territories, or planted and de- 
veloped them in the midst of subjugated races.f Such would 

* K it can be proved that the words for many of the arts belonging 
to an early state of civilization are the same in Sanskrit, Greek, 
Latin, and German, it follows that the Aryan nations knew these 
arts before they separated, and that they carried the germs of civili- 
zation from a common centre, oh one side into India, and on the 
other side into Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, and the rest of Europe. 

- t An examination of Aryan languages teaches us that the ideas 
of religion, justice, and law, the practice of agriculture with fixed 
habitations, the recognition of property, marriage, and kindred, long 
preceded the dawn even of traditional history among the ancestors 
of the Hindoo and Greek, the Tartar and the Persian. — Edinhiirgh 
RevieWj January, 1867, p. 109. 

The earth is peopled rapidly. It is conceivable, indeed probable, 
that a succession oi races of animated beings, gradually approaching 
the type of humanity, was spread over the face of the habitable 
globe, ages before the Aryan racfe just mentioned had emerged under 
favourable circumstances as an improved type from the inferior 
peoples by whom they were surrounded. The late Mr. Christy—. 
a competent judge — ^remarks in answer to the question, AVTien was 
the remdeer period in the south of France, and what is its antiquity ? 


be only an analogous case to many that history records. It 
would only resemble the conquest of England by the Romans, 
of the Homanized Britons by the Saxons and Danes, and of the 
Anglo-Saxons by the Normans : and the inftision of the civili- 
zation of each conquering people amongst the conquered. 

This hypothesis clearly involves, as just remarked, the 
pre-existence and use, amongst this migrating and colonizing 
race, of the greater part of the elementary forms or objects of 
Heraldry. Wherever this race settled they would carry with 
them and transmit their tribal devices and distinctions. As 
new tribes or subdivisions of old ones were formed, modifica- 
tions of ancestral ensigns, or combinations of two or more pre* 
existing ones, or entirely new emblems, would be adopted ; of 
course in these cases such secondary and derivative figures 
might in widely - separated countries have an independent 
origin, though new emblems would probably be ethnogra- 
phically distinctive, as representing some bird or animal peculiar 
to the country producing it. The case is paralleled by modern 
European blazonry, where we have abundant evidence of com- 
binations formed of heraldic emblems in difierent countries that 
are identical, and that arose without any inter-communication : 
just as after once the pointed arch was first introduced in archi- 
tecture, and tracery work filled a window, innumerable reseqi- 
bling forms which result from combined curves and straight 
lines, would be produced by different minds having no corre- 
spondence, and not borrowing one from another. But this is a 
case of the simplest character, resembling the evolutions of 
geometrical problems, which in all minds must necessarily be 
the same process, and lead to the same results.* Undoubtedly, 
but for the hereditary principle and the feeling of reverence im- 
planted in the human breast for what has been long established 
and become sacred and honoured, heraldic ensigns composed of 
geometrical forms might have originated independently in 

" It is of higher antiquity than the Kjokken moddings of Denmark, 
and the lacustrine dwellings of Switzerland, and very certainly than 
the whole group of so-called Celtic and Cromlech remains." 

* There are no truths in the whole range of the pure mathe- 
matics which might not by possibility have been discovered and 
systematised by one deprived of sight and touch, or immured in a 
dark chamber, without the use of a single material object. — Lord 
Brougham's Discourse of Natural Theology^ p. 70. 


many countries and at different eras : but whilst such forms for 
such a purpose are accounted for in an early stage of man^s 
history, at a later period they would never have been adopted 
for emblematical purposes, for which they are not at all suitable, 
when the whole animal kingdom and a host of inanimate 
objects furnished the means of symbolical expression. 

We will now inquire how far these views are supported by 
the facts recorded in preceding chapters of this work. In 
addition to the facts mentioned at pages 116 and 117, testify- 
ing to the entire absence of certain heraldic emblems amongst 
certain peoples, and their prevalence with others, we find the 
remarkable fact that animals in countries which produce them 
are not used as heraldic devices, whilst others which are found 
in every soil are not generally employed as such. Thus the lion 
is a prevalent bearing in Northern Europe, where the animal is 
unknown, and the bear, which is indigenous, is a rare ensign . 
Again, although the serpent is rare except in warm countries, 
its veneration is almost universal ; and in Ireland where it is 
entirely absent as a living reptile its symbolical estimation in 
early periods prevailed throughout the land. In these cases 
then heraldry could not have been of aboriginal growth, but 
must have been transplanted. In a preceding chapter it has 
been shown that if modern heraldry arose de novo in the 12 th 
century, we* should reasonably expect to find every symbolical 
animal and bird adopted as a device by not one but every 
nation of Europe : whereas we find, as in ancient times, that 
certain devices were prevalent in certain countries only. This, 
prima facie y identifies particular emblems with particular races ; 
and moreover, to account for the invariable connexion or corre- 
spondence between the two, implies an hereditary transmission 
from a very remote period, from a period in fact when Heraldry 
first originated, and each tribe adopted a different ensign or 
pattern. We thus in Heraldry as in Philology, and according 
to Mr. Fergusson^s opinion, in Architecture (see p. 100), arrive 
at the discovery of a clue to trace the migrations of Races and 
Peoples. We can track the progress and settlement of Nations 
by their tribal and national emblems, as evidenced by coins and 
other and earlier monuments, as surely as we can follow their 
movements by the languages they spoke, or the names they 
gave to their settlements, and to mountains and rivers, with 


this advantage as previously remarked (p. 99) that the forms 
of Heraldry as compared with those of language are well de- 
fined, and almost invaiiable in every country and age. 

Ornamentation sprang out of or is in many cases identified 
with Heraldry. At page 72 I have attempted to show that all 
the infinite forms of the pre-Christian cross had their origin in 
the Phallus, one ultimate form of which was the letter T, which 
it will be seen is an element in most of the varieties of the ar- 
chitectural fret ornament .♦ Most of the mseander and scroll- 
like patterns are traceable to the convolutions of the serpent^s 
tail, to the annulet or roundel, as typifying the sun, or to the 
varied patterns consisting of circles, semicircles, and concen- 
tric circles, which as shown in chapter VII. were tribal devices 
of pre-historic times. The various geometrical patterns occur- 
ring in early pottery are identical with heraldic marks, and are 
shown to have been each peculiar to certain tribes, and many 
of them are found to have this characteristic as the totems of 
savages (p. 132). The chevron pattern so prominent in Assy- 
rian ornamentation would appear to have been adopted from 
the resembling bone-work of a feather. Feathers were used 
by the ancient Mexicans as distinctions of rank, as likewise by 
the North- American Indians of the present day; and it may be 
imagined were amongst the earliest ornaments that constituted 
the head-dress of a warrior chieftain. 

There is one ornament rarely found in ancient art that not- 
withstanding had a high religious significance, viz. the Fleur de 

* The phallic worship, indications of which we meet in almost all 
parts of the earth may, if any custom, be conceived to have sprung 
up quite independently in many coimtries (see p. 72). But it 
would be a remarkable coincidence that its symbol should result in 
the identical form of the letter T both in the old world and the new, 
if it did not arise in both insta'nces from intercommunication. The 
case of common as opposed to independent origin is still stronger in 
three letters of the alphabet found as ornaments in the most remote 
comers of the earth : the Z and V symbols are found in Mexico, 
in Scotland, and in the East.' The S ornament is met with in Etru- 
ria, in China, in Scotland, on Celtic ornament generally, and proba- 
bly had a conventional meaning connected with the Serpent. It 
can scarcely be contended in these cases that remote and uncon- 
nected peoples would have independently hit upon such peculiar and 
by no means obvious symbolical figures as the three letters. S, V, 
and Z. . 


Hs. This was not extensively used till mediaeval times, thougli 
met with on the crowns and sceptres of the Carlovingian kings, 
.and eventually found as the heraldic bearing of their succes- 
sors. The regard paid to the serpent in Ireland seems to have 
originated in that country a style of ornamentation that is 
quite peculiar, that has no parallel in ancient times, and was 
unknown in other countries except as derived from the Irish. 
Beautiful specimens of this are given in Mr. "Westwood^s mag- 
nificent work The Miniatures a/nd Ornaments of An-glo-Sa^xon 
and Irish MSS. That work as well as the introduction to 
Owen Joneses Grammar of Ornament contains an able and re- 
markable article by Mr. "Westwood on " Celtic Omament.^^ 
How this is characterized by him we have shown by an extract 
given at page 162. Mr. Westwood then proceeds with an ela- 
borate discussion of its origin. He shows that the MSS. con- 
taining examples of this ornament did not copy them from the 
copies of the Scriptures sent by St. Gregory into this country, 
for all the most ancient Italian MSS. are entirely destitute of 
elaborate ornamentation. And the British MSS. ^^ exhibit pe- 
culiarities of ornamentation totally at variance with those of 
all other countries, save only in places where the Irish or 
Anglo-Saxon missionaries may have introduced their own, or 
have modified the already existing styles.^^ They were not 
he says brought over by the Saxon invaders, nor were they de- 
rived from Scandinavia or North Germany. As to their con- 
nection with Byzantine art, ^^ the ornamentation of St. Sophia 
exhibits no analogy with our Celtic patterns/^ Mr. Westwood 
concludes in these words — ^* that though the early artists of 
these islands might have obtained the germ of their familiar 
styles of ornament from some other- than their own natural 
genius, they had before the beginning of the 8th century, 
formed several very distinct systems of ornamentation perfectly 
unlike in their developed state to those of any other country .'' 

Those who have inquired into the origin of ornamentation 
generally, hold the notion that in its germs and its simplest 
forms, it is the spontaneous growth of every soil, and one of 
the earliest developments of art amongst the lowest savages.* 

* In the Preface to Owen Jones's Grammar of Ornament (p. 13) 
these passages occur : — " Man's earliest ambition is to create. To 
this feeling must be ascribed the tatooing of the human face and 


But we have only to ascertain what is the amount of artistic 
feeling and invention amongst the lower classes of civilized 
nations of the present day to be convinced of the unsoundness 
of this notion. Wherever these classes are left to themselves, 
or are not influenced by the educated portion of society, they 
develope tastes of their own. Their amusements, their predi- 
lections, their songs, their music, their literature, are all of a 
different order from those of the middle and higher ranks, and 
whatever is ornamental that they possess or desire, is not ori- 
ginated amongst themselves. K any amongst them practise 
any art where ornament is essential, it is learnt from patterns 
and models produced by a special class of high and refined 
culture.* What would become of artistic feeling and inven- 
tion in an island colonized by an unlettered peasantry, unac- 
companied by educated men, and having no communication 

body resorted by the savage to increase the impression by which he 
seeks to strike terror in his enemies or rivals, or to create wh^t ap- 
pears to him a new beauty. * * The stamping of patterns on 
the coverings of the body made of skins of animals or other mate- 
rials would be the first stage towards ornament after the tatooing of 
the body by an analogous process." 

* Those who noticed the behaviour of the working classes in their 
rambles through the avenues and galleries of the Exhibitions of 
1851 and 1862, will not fail to remember the listless curiosity, the 
vacant gaze, the insensibility to works of high art, the ignorance of 
what to admire, and merely a vague sense of bewilderment, and 
hardly any of appreciation of the vast magnificence amongst which 
they moved, that pervaded the great majority of them. K the love 
of beauty and ornament is only feebly felt and developed in the 
lower stratum of society, whose upper ranks make it a study, and 
with many of whom it is a passion, and who constantly difiuse its 
forms in all directions, so Ijiat no one can escape its contagious in- 
fluence, what reason is there for the notion that uneducated savages 
possess this faculty as innate, like love or fear, and what exercise 
they manifest of it is self-developed, as Mr. Fergusson says " with- 
out any teaching or previous communication " with a cultivated and 
superior race ? This portraiture of the aesthetic tastes of the vast 
mass of the people, or rather this denial of its existence, may be 
considered unjust and unfounded. But those who think so should 
look to facts. Amongst whom is found the love of lake and moim- 
tain scenery, for example ? Is it amongst the Swiss peasantry, and 
the boatmen of Windermere ? Is it the scenery, or the " outing " 
and its frolicks, and liberty, and picnics, that attracts the thousands 
of operatives who visit the English lakes ? Even of the shoals of 
wealthy and educated people, who go to the sea side, is it the com- 


With a superior race ? "What vague traditions or remembrances 
of it that would be carried away would speedily die out ; it 
would only be resuscitated or developed de novo by the pro- 
gressive advance of the colony in material well-being; by pass- 
ing through those stages that have ever been the conditions 
precedent of intellectual culture, invention, and discovery."*^ 

pany, the fresh breeze, the life of abandon and insouciance, that are 
its great charms ? • or is it the poetical feeling which Byron felt and 
expressed in these lines ? 

There is a rapture on the loneli/ shore ; 
There is society where none intrudes, 
By the deep sea, and music in its roar. 

* In Owen Jones's Orammar of Ornament (p. 13) occur these 
remarks : " When Mr. Brierly visited Tongotabu, one of the Friendly 
Islands, one woman was the designer of all the patterns in use there, 
and for every new pattern she designed she received as a reward a 
certain number of yards of cloth. * * * Capt. Cook and other 
voyagers repeatedly notice the taste and ingenuity of the islandera 
of the Pacific and South Seas, instancing especially cloths nainted in 
an endless variety of figures, and the fancy displayed in their mats, 
their basket work, rich carvings, and inlaid shell-work." . 

Here we have evidently a class set apart whose business and study 
it is to cultivate such simple artistic knowledge as is necessary to 
produce the objects mentioned. This taste may either have l3een 
evolved in the course of time amongst themselves, acquired by inter- 
communication, or have been inherited from an ancestry of a higner 






Hoelee argent and azure (Sir Ealph 

de Gorges) P. 115. 
Sable three Hammers argent (Sir 

Adam Martel) 115. 
A Horse statant on a royal crown^ 

crest — (John Deryng) 154. 
Azure three Crowns or (St. Edmund) 

Azure three Eoses or (Sir Wm. de 

Cosington) 115. 
TJn L^yrier (Comte de Magnoac) 174. 
^es Barres transversales (Anonyme) 

TJne Ai^le au vol abaiss^ (Due de 

Lorrame) 174. 
XJne Croix vid^e, clech^e, et pomet^e 

(Eaymond de St. GiUes) 174. 
Deux Bars adoss^es (Comte de Bar- 

le-Duc) 174. 
Band^ de six pieces (Due de Bur- 

eoyne) 175. 
E^iquet^ avec une fasce (Baoul de 

Beaugency) 175. 
Trois Broyes ouvertes, Tune sur 

I'autre (Simon de Broyes) 175. 
TJn Ecu charg^ d'un B^fier (Guiraud 

de Simian e) 175. 
Sem^e of Peacock's Tails (Geffry de 

Chateaubriant) 176. 
Three Torteaux (Countess of Bou- 
logne) 176. 
A Maunche and seven cross crosslets 

and a fleur de lis (Eoger de Con- 

yers) 178. 
An arm in a Sleeve holding a fleur de 

lis (Wm. de Cosneres) 178. 
An arm in a Sleeve and six cross 

crosslets (Thos. de Cosneris) 178. 
A Fish in fess (Eichard de Lucy) 178. 

An Escarbuncle (Hamelin Plantage- 

net) 179. 
A Griffin (Earls of Devon) 181. 
A Griffin (Fulke de Brent) 181. 
Sem^e of Swallows (De Arundel) 

Three Birds (John de Courcy) 187. 
Vaire and a Bendlet (Wm. de Guis- 

nes) 187. 
A Bordure and a Chief (De Alost) 

Three Torteaux, on an escutcheon of 

pretence Six Fleurs de lis (De 

Courtenay) 188. 
Three, Eoundels, and a label of five 

|)oints (Eobert de Courtenay) 188. 
Vaire, a bendlet (Robert de Gouviz) 

Vaire, a bend lozengy (Brian de 

Gouiz) 188. 
A Legcouped at the thigh (Johanne 

de Hosa) 189. 
Gyronny of eight (Jeanne dame de 

Carouges) 189. 
A Crossbow (Adele L'Arbalisti^re) 

Thirteen Annulets (Mathilde de Cre- 

verville) 189. 
A Pale (Robert de LongviUers) 189. 
Fretty (Wm. de Courcv), 189. 
Nine Annulets (Ivo de Vieuxpont) 

A Cross Moline debruised by a ba- 
ton sinister (Henri Mar^chal) 189. 
Three Buckles (Jean Mallet) 189. 
A Stag passant to the sinister (Philip 

de L ongueville) 190. 
A Crescent with a narrow Bordure 

(Jean de Lacele) 190. 
An Eagle (Mathew de Hyesmes) 190. 



A Horse trotting (Maurice de Caen) 

A Chief (or per fesse) dancette (Wm. 

de Sallertfelles) 190. 
A Large Label of five points (Raoul 

de Giberville) 190. 
A Herring in fess (Robert Hareng) 

Twelve Martlets in twelve quarters 

(Roger de Rupera) 190. 
Two Labels, one above the other (Ni- 
cholas de St. Germain) 190. 
A Cross moline (Wm. de Molines) 

A Pale (Richard de Longvillers) 190. 
Six Billets, 3, 2, 1 (Richard de 

Courcy) 191. 
Paly of six, on a chief, a Lion passant 

(Robert de Bray) 191. 
Three Crescents and a Chief, over all 

a Cross fleur de lis^e (Eon de Pout- 

chastneau) 191. 
An Escotc'heon of pretence, an Orle 

of Martlets and a Canton (Aimery 

de Thoudrs) 191. 
Three Fern leaves (Wm. de Fou- 

g^res) 192. 
A Pair of Shears (Guillaume de Mont- 
fort) 192. 
A Cross Crosslet between two birds 

and two stars (Olivier Helto) 192. 
A Crescent vaire (Jean de Maure) 

Three Annulets (Hasculfus Musard) 

Pretty, in chief a Crescent between 

two Stars (Hugh de Chaucumbe) 

Three Garbs (John de Ardeme) 193. 
Three Leaves (Odo Bumard) 193. 
Three Buckles (Robert de St. John) 

Azure three Buckles or (Walter de 

St. John) 194. 
A Chief ermine (Walter de Hevre) 

Vaire (Michael de Cantelu) 194. 
Nine Billets (Earl of Strathem) 194. 
Three Crooks (Robert Croc) 194. 
Three Crescents and a Label (Sir 

Alex. Seton) 194. 
A Cross patonce (Wm. de Vesci) 

An Escallop Shell (Thomas de An- 
noy) 194. 
A Griffin attacked by a Serpent (Ro- 
ger de Lacy) 197. 

Barry Pily (Almaric Earl of Glou- 
cester) 197. 
Party per pale indented (Simon Earl 

of Leicester) 197. 
Barry Pily (Hugo de Meulan) 197. 
An Eagle (ThoiUas Count of Savoy) 

A cross between four Eagles (Mont- 
morency) 201. 
Three Water Bougets (De Ros and 

Trusbut) 201. 
Fretty (Courcy ; Neville ; Vernon ; 

Verdun ; Maitravers ; Echingham ; 

St. Le^er) 204. 
Paly of six, a bordure bezant^e (Phi- 
lip de Ulcotes) 218. 
Azure an Eagle displayed (Hugh de 

Shuldham) 220. 
Or an Orle azure (Bartram) 235. 
Sable an Orle argent (L'Espring) 

Gules an Orle argent (Baliol of Bar- 
nard Castle) 235. 
Argent an Orle gules (Eustace Ba- 

Hoi) 235. 
A Cross moline between two Gtirbs 

(John de Beke) 235. 
Crusilly, three Leopards* heads jes- 

sant de lis (John de Neville) 236. 
Azure three Garbs or (Peverell) 249. 
Stag trippant (More Earl of Clan- 

carty) 241. 
Two Poxes combatant (O'Donochoos) 

A man in armour on horseback (Ma« 

guires) 241. 
A wolf issuing from a wood (O'Calla- 

ghans) 241. 
A man in armour drawing a bow 

(O'Loghlins) 241. 
A Stag at gaze (O'Connor) 241. 
An Eagle (Mac Enierys— Erne) 241. 
A Griffin segreant holding in each 

paw a key (N earns) 241. 
A Boar between three cross crosslets 

(O'Crulie) 241. 
A Hand holding a dagger between 

two serpents (O'Deas) 241. 
The same and two Crescents (O*- 

Quins) 241. 
A Boar (O'Malley) 242. 
A Hand holding a dagser between 

three crescents (O'Midlen) 242. 
Two Boars combatant — in chief two 

battle axes saltier wise (MacSwy- 

nies) 242. 




Conp^ per fess arg. and sable, over 
all a lion (Count of Yasserburg) 

Lion rampant (Count of Flanders) 

Lion rampant (Earl of Chester) 178. 

Lion passant guardant (Earl of Glou- 
cester) 181. 

Three leopards or lions passant (So- 
ger de brloucester) 181. 

Lion rampant (Earls of Devon) 181. 

Or a lion rampant azure (Sir Henry 
de Percj) 181. 

Azure 6 lions rampant or (Count of 
Anjou) 182-4. 

Lion rampant (Wm. brother of Henry 

6 Lions rampant (Earl of Salisbury) 

Azure 6 lioncels or a label gules (Sir 
Stephen Longesp^e) 185. 

Azure 6 lioncels argent (Sir Eoger 
de Leybume) 185. 

A bend arg. cottised or between 6 
lions rampant or and a label gules 
(Humphiy de Bohun) 185. 

Lion rampant (Wm. de Bukloth) 189. 

Three lions rampant (Wm. de Lam- 
bertviUe) 189. 

Lion rampant (Bobert L' Angevin) 

Lion passant reguardant (Agnes de 
Fontenay) 189./ 

Lion rampant (Eoger de Hyesmes) 

Two lions passant to sinister (Eobert 
de Tessell) 190. 

Lion or leopard passant to sinister 
(Eobert de St. Martin) 190. 

Lion rampant (Gefiry Yicomte de 
Eohan) 191. 

Two lions passant (Gervase Paganell) 

Three lions rampant (Peter Fitz Her- 
bert) 193. 

Three lions rampant, and a Star 
(Wm. de Veteriponte) 194. 

Lion rampant (Patrick Ihinbar) 194. 

Lion rampant (Simon de Montfort, 
Earl of Leicester) 198. 

Sable un leon rampant d'argent a la 
queue fourch^, Tescu biflet^ d 'ar- 
gent (Amary de Miland — Mellent) 

Azure a lion rampant croisett^ d*or 
(Wm. de Braose) 202. 

Argent a lion rampant azure (Piers 

de Brus) 202. 
Or a lion rampant azure (Jaoques de 

Breuz^) 202. 
. Or a Lion rampant azure (Lovel) 204. 
Lion rampant (Wm. D'Albini, Earl 

of Arundel) 207. 
Gules a lion rampant argent (Boger 

de Mowbray) 207. 
Gules a Lion rampant or (John Fitz 

Alan) 207. 
A Lion rampant and a bordure of 

roses (Patrick Earl of March) 236. 
Two Lions rampant holding a sword 

(O'CarriU) 241. 
Two Lions rampant holding a hand 

(O'Neale) 241. 
Two Lions rampant supporting a 

tower (0'E:elly) 241. 
Lion rampant between three hands 

(MacGeoghegan) 241. 
Two Lions rampant holding a hand 

between three mullets (O'Daniel) 

Two Lions rampant holdh% a wheat- 
sheaf (O'Breannons) 241. 
Two lions rampant holding a sword 

(O'Meaghirs) 241. 
A Lion rampant holding a battle axe 

(MacMurrough), 242. 
A Lion rampant, and two hands in 

chief (O'Brenon) 242. 
A Lion passant sinister, holding a 

bird in his paws, at his feet a cross 

moline, with a bird on the top of 

his tail (Wm. de Braose) 247. 


Argent a Saltire or (Offa King of 
Mercia) 158. 

A Saltire (Bobert fitz Maldred) 207. 

A Saltire (De Brus ; Earls of KU- 
dare, Kerry, Desmond, and Ply- 
mouth) 208. 

Masclbs and Fusils. 

Azure six Mascles or (Sir Bauf de 

Gorges) 115. 
Seven Mascles croisette (Wm. de 

Bomara) 18G. 
Lozengy, and a Label of five points 

(Olivier de Lyre), 189. 
Lozengy a chief (Bobert D'Ailly) 

Lozengy (Pierre de Bain) 191. 
Seven Mascles (Gefiry de Bohan) 191. 
Four Fusils (Baoul D'Aubign^) 192. 



Four Fusils, and six Eoundels (Guill. 

D'Aubign^) 192. 
Three Fusils and four Boundels (Ro- 
land de Dinan) 192. 
Three Fusils and four Eoundels (Gef- 

fry de Dinan) 192. 
Two Mascles (Hawise de Quincy) 

A Mascle and a Oinqfoil (Margaret 

Countess of Winchester) 196. 
Seven Mascles and a Fess between 

two Chevrons (The same) 196. 
Six Mascles or Seven Mascles and a 

Cinqfoil (Roger de Quincy) 196. 
Two Mascles (Hawise de Quincy) 

A Fess between two Chevrons and 

Seven Mascles (Robert fitz Wal- 
ter) 196. 
Lozengy (Monaco; Fitz William; 

Rocklev ; Woodhall) 203. 
A Bend fuzilly (Marechal ; Raleigh) 

Fusils (Percy ; Dawtrey ; Fitz Jues ; 

Annesley ; Cuckney ; Fleming ; 

Furneaux) 206. 
Dancette (Neville; ^Ibini; Percy; 

Vavasour) 206. 


Six Roses, 3, 2, 1 (Wm. Bacon) 189. 

Sem^e of Quatrefoils (Simon de Pel- 
lev^) 189. 

An escotcheon and an orle of Sex- 
foils (Robert de Tancarville) 189. 

Six Quatrefoils (Renaud Malherbe) 

An escotcheon, and an Orle of Sex- 
foils (Raoul de Tancarville) 191. 

A Cinqfoil (Robert Bossu, Earl of 
Leicester) 196. 

Gules a Cinqfoil ermine (Robert de 
Quincy) 196. 


Chequy, over all a Fish or Luce in 
pale (Fulbert de Dover) 178. 

Chequy (Waleran Earl of Mellent) 

Chequy and a Fess (Raoul de Beau- 
gency) 179. 

Chequy (Robert Blanchmains, Earl 
of Leicester) 179. 

Chequy or and azure (Earl of War- 
ren) 179. 

Chequy or and azure a Chevron er- 
mine (Earl of Warwick) 179. 

Chequy, a Canton ermine, and a bor- 

dure of lions passant (John de 

Dreux) 180. 
Chequy, a chief of fleurs de lis (Hugh 

Earl of Verm an dois) 180. 
Chequy, over all a Crescent charged 

with three cinqfoils (P Bardolph) 

Chequy, a chief ermine (Robert de 

Tateshall) 192. 
Chequy (Hamo de Gattun) 193. 
Fes? Chequy (Boyd ; Fitz Walter ; 

Fitz Akn ; Boteler) 209. 


Quarterly (Asculf de Solign^) 191. 
Quarterly (Yseult de Dol) 191. 
Quarterly per fess indented (Fitz 

Warin and Burwardesley) 201. 
Quarterly (De Mandeville ; De Vere) 

Quarterly or and gules (Wm. de 

Say) 210. 
Quarterly or and gules a bend (Wm. 

de Beauchamp) 210. 
Quarterly arg. and sable (Geffrey de 

Beauchamp) 210. 
Quarterly or and gules, a bordure 

vaire (Fitz Piers and Fitz John) 

Quarterly or and gules, a bend Sable 

and a label arg. (John de Lacy) 

Quarterly and a bend (Robert Fitz 

Roger) 210. 
Quarterly, a bordure indented (Sir 

Hugh de Vere) 211. 
Quarterly, or ana gules a bend sable 

(Roger Fitz John de Eure) 211. 
Quarterly or and «able, three mullets 

arg. on a bend sable (Alex, de 

Clavering) 211. 
Quarterly a bend and a label (John 

Fitz Robert de Clavering) 211. 


A Fess between four Roundels (Jean 

de Gironne) 190. 
Three Bars oetween six Roundels 

(Enguerrand de Humeto) 190. 
Two Bars, and three Martlets (Dreu 

de MeUot) 191. 
Four Bars, and a Label (Richard 

Goion) 192. 
A Fess (Hubert de Anesty) 193. 
Three Bars (Sir Alan Fitz Brian ; Sir 

Adam de Bendenges) 193. 




A Fess between thre^ Pelicans (Gef- 

fry de Hordene) 194. 
Barry and a label (Ralph de Issoduo) 

Two Bars, and a Bordare bezaiit^e 

(Whitworth) 218. 
Gules a Fess between six Crosslets 

arg. (Sir John Peche) 235. 
Barry of six, charged with spindles 

(Robert de JSTers) 189. 
Two Bars (Jean de Harecourt) 189. 
Three Bars (Herbert de la Porta) 

Four Bars between ten Fleurs de lis 

(Jean de Brucourt) 190. 
Three Bars between six Eoundels 

(Roger de Fresney) 190. 
Four Bars (Richard Bacun) 190. 
A Fess between four Eagles (Fulke 

d'Aunay) 190. 
A Fess between three Boars (Mac 

Swynys) 241. ' 


A Mullet of five points (Walter de 

Sohier) 176. 
Sem^e of Mullets (Richard de Hu- 

metto) 188. 
Six Mullets on six Escutcheons 

(Juhel de Mayenne) 191. 
A Chief charged with three Mullets 

(Earl of Eu) 193. 
A mullet or Star (Wm. de Inays) 



Three Chevrons (Gilbert de Clare) 

Three Chevrons (Baldwin Earl of 
Hainault) 177. 

Chevronny (Rohais Countess of Lin- 
coln) 185. 

Five Chevronn (De Abrincis) 186. 

Five Chevrons (Alice Countess of 
Huntingdon) 186. 

Two or Three Chevrons (Hugo de 
Garcesale) 188. 

Five Chevrons (Mathew de Beaumio) 

A Chevron (Jeffry Jugouf) 190. 

A Fess and a label, and a Fess be- 

tween two Chevrons (Saber de 

Quincy) 196. 
One or three Chevrons (Wattville; 

Dabemon ; Walton ; Buckland ; 

Stafford) 199-200. 
Three Chevrons (Earls of Clare and 

Pembroke ; Muntfichet) 200. 
A Fess and two Chevrons (Robert 

Fitz Walter) 200. 
A Clievron and a Chief dancette (Sir 

Wm. de Daventir) 200. 
A Fess and two Chevrons (Peche) 

A Chevron between three Hands 

(Cuillens) 241. 
A Chevron between three Boars 

(Bryams) 241. 


Band^ de six pieces (Due* de Bonr- 
gogne) 175. 

A Bend lozengy, and a Label ( Wm. 
de Rupibus) 191. 

A Bend (Alan de Eohan) 191. 

A Bend (Eoland de HillionV 192. 

On a Bend cottised, four Billets, a 
bordure indented (Peter de Scot- 
ney) 193. 

Three Bends, between each, a bend- 
let wavv (Will. fil. Johannis) 188. 

A Bend between six Shells (Hugo 
Guarin) 188. 

A Bend between a Cinqfoil and Key 
(Ralph de Pertevilie) 188. 

A Bend vaire between four Escal- 
lops: a Horse passant (Adam de 
St. Silvain) 190. 

Flbubs db lis. 

Sem^e de Fleurs de lis (Stephen Earl 
of Eichmond) 176. 

Tlu*ee Fleurs de lis and a Label (Jef- 
fry de Brucourt) 190. 

Three Fleurs de lis (Robert de Cre- 
vequer) 193. 

A Cross Moline and Eight Fleurs de 
lis (Geffry de Baileul) 194. 

A Fleur de lis and a bordure en- 
grailed (Simon de St. Liz) 197. 

A Fleur de lis (John de Mundogum- 
bri) 221. 



Pediobbes of Beabebs 07 

Chequy, 179-180. 
Fess Chequy, 209. 
Lion and Griffin, 181. 
Six Lioncels, 185. 
lion rampant, 202-7. 
Chevrons, 200. 
Five Chevrons, 186. 
Quarterly, 210-11. 
Quarterly per fess, 201. 
Saltire, 208. 
Lozengy, 203. 
FusiUy, 202-3-5. 
Barry pily, 198. 
Mascles and Cinqfoils, 196. 



S means Seal. 

Angoul6me, Counts of, 202. 
Anjou, Count of (S), 179- 

Most de (S), 187. 
Albini Earl of (S), 182, 206. 
Abiincis de, 186. 
Arundel de, 187. 

Anesty de (S), 193. 
Ardeme de (S), 193. 
Aunoy de (S), 194. 
Beauchamp, 210. 
Boyd, 209. 
Boteler, 209. 
Buckland de, 199. 
Burwardesley (S), 201. 
Braose de, 202. 
Brus de, 202. 
Breuze de, 202. 
Bavaria Dukes of^ 202. 
Bukloth de (S), 189. 
Beaumio de (S), 188. 
Bacon (S), 189, (S) 190. 
Bar le Duo Count de (S), 

Bourgogne Due de (S), 175. 
Beaugency de (S), 175-9. 
Broyer de (S), 175. 
Boulogne Comtede (S), 1 77. 
Brittany Duke of (S), 180. 
Bardolph (S), 180. 
Brent de, 181. 
Brucourt de (S), 190. 
Bray de (S), 191. 
Bain de (S), 191. 
Bendenges de (S), 193. 
Bumard (S), 193. 

Baileul (S), 194. 
Bardolph (S), 221. 
Baliol, 235. 
Beke de (S), 235. 
Blencowe ae, 237. 
Bryams, 242. 
Bohun de, 185. 
Clifford de, 185. 
Couroy de, 187, (S) 189,191 
Couitenay de j'S), 188. 
Carouges de (S), 189. 
CreverviUe de (S), 189. 
CreuiUy de (S), 181. 
Clinton de, 179. 
Conyers de (S), 178. 
Chateaubriant (S), 176-7. 
Chester Earl of (S), 178-81. 
Chaucombe de (S), 193. 
Crevequer de (8), 193. 
Cautelu (S), 194. 
Croc (S), 194. 
Clavering, 211. 
Clun, 209. 
Cosington de, 201. 
Caen de (S), 190. 
Cuillens, 241. 
D'Aubign6 (S), 192. 
Dinan de (S), 192. 
Dol de (S), 191. 
D'aunay (S), 190. 
D'aillyjfS), 190. 
Devon Earls of (S), 181. 
Desmond, Earl o^ 208. 
De Vere, 210-11. 
De Bos, 201. 
De Clare (S), 210. 
D'Abemon, 199. 
D' Albini (S), 207. 
D'Awtrey, 205. 
De la Brette, 23. 
Dunbar (S), 194. 
De Reviers, 204. 
Daventry de (S), 200. 
Eu Earl of (S), 193. 
Eure de, 211. 
Evreux Earl of (S), 198. 
Fraines de (S), 189. 
Fresnay de (8), 190. 
Fulthorp (8), 194. 
Fitzherbert (8), 193. 
Fitzbrian (8), 193. 
Fougeres de (8), 192. 
FitzwiUiam, 203. 
Fitzalan (8), 207, (8) 209. 
Fitzpiers, 210. 

Fitzjohn, 210. 
Fitzroger, 210. 
Fitzwarin (8), 201. 
Fitzwalter (S), 200. ' 

Fumival (8), 222. 
Fitzpayne (8), 222. 
Fitzjohn (8), 188. 
Fontenay de (8), 189. 
Flanders Count of (8), 

Fortibus de, 181. 
Fitzmaldred (8), 207. 
Froyhins, 241. 
Gloucester Earl of (8), 181. 
Guisnes Count of (8), 187. 
Garcesale de (8), 188. 
Gouviz de (8), 188. 
Guarin (8), 188. 
Gumay (8), 189. 
Gorges de, 115. 
Gloucester Earl of (8), 197. 
Goion (8), 192. 
Gattun de (8), 193. 
Giberville de (8), 190. 
Giroune de (8), 190. 
Hainault Count of (8), 177. 
Hereford Earl of, 183. 
Huntingdon C. of (8), 186. 
Humetto de (8), 188. 
Hosa de (8), 189. 
Harecurt de (8), 189. 
Hordene de (8), 194. 
HilHon de (8), 192. 
Helto (8), 192. 
Hevre de (8), 194. 
Hyesmes de (8), 190. 
Hareng (8), 190. 
Humeto de (8), 190. 
Innes (8), 195. 
Issodun Earl of Eu (8), 

Inays de (8), 221. 
Jugouf (8), 190. 
KildareEarlof, 208. 
Kerry Earl of; 208. 
Knights Templar, 24. 
Level, 205. 
Lacy de, 210, (8) 197. 
Lindsay de (8), 195. 
Leicester Earl of (8), 196. 
Lusignan de (8), 198. 
Lorraine Due die (8), 174. 
Lucy de (8) 178. 
Leicester Earl of, 179. 
I Longespee, 185. 




Leybume de, 183-6. 

Linooln C. of, 185. 

LambertYille de (S), 189. 

ii' Angevin (S), 189. 

L'Arbalistidre (S), 189. 

Longvilliers (S), 189. 

Lyre de (8), 199. 

Longuevilld de (8), 190. 

Lacele de (8), 190. 

Longvillera de (8), 190. 
. Montfort de (8), 192. 
^ Maure de (8), 192. 

Mnsard (8), 192. 

MaUet (8), 189. 

Marmion (8), 190. 

Molines de (8), 190. 

Malherbe (8), 190. 

Mayenne de (8), 191. 

MeUot de (8), 191. 

More Earl of Clancaity, 

Martel, 115. 

March Earl of (8), 236. 

Magoires, 241. 

Macgeoghegans, 241. 

MacEnierys, 241. 

Mac8wyny8, 241-2. 

MacMurrough, 242. 

Marmion (8), 189. 

Marechal (8), 189. 

MeUent Earl of (8), 178. 

Magnoac Count of (8), 174. 

Mandeville (8), 210. 

Mowbray (8), 207. 

Mareschal, 203. 

Mundegumbri (8), 195. 

Meulan de (8), 198. 

Mimtfichet de (8), 199- 

Montmorency de (8), 291. 

Monaco, Prince of, 202. 

Ners de (8), 189. 

Neams, 241. 

Narbonne Vis. de, 23. 

Neville, 204-6-236. 
O'Donochoos, 241. 
O'Carrills, 241. 
O'Neales, 241. 
O'Kellys, 241. 
O'Damel, 241. 
O'Callaghans, 241. 
CBreannons, 241. 
O'Loghlins, 241. 
CQuins, 241. . 
O'Donovans, 241. 
O'Meaghirs, 241. 
O'Connor, 241. 
O'CnOie, 241. 
OTeas, 241. 
O'MaUey, 242. 
O'Mullen, 242. 
O'Brenon, 242. 
Percy, 205. 

Plymouth Earls of, 208. 
Peche de, 200. 
Pembroke Earl of (8), 177. 
Plantagenet H. (8), 179- 

Percy de, 181. 
Poitou Count of, 187. 
Perteville de (8), 188. 
Pellev6 de (8), 189. 
Pembroke C. of (8), 222. 
PayneU (8), 222. 
Peche, 235. 

Pontchastneau de (8), 191. 
PaganeU (8), 192. 
Porta de la (8), 190. 
Quincyde(8), 196. 
Komara dejfS), 186. 
Kichmond Earl of (8), 176. 
Rohan de (8), 191. 
Rohan Vic. de (8), 191. 
Rupera de (8), 190. 
Rupibus de (8), 191. 
Raleigh de, 203. 
Rockley, 203. 
Romara de (8), 196. 

8cotney de (8), 193. 
8t. John de (8J, 193. 
8trathem de (8), 194. 
Seton (8), 194. 
8olign6 de (8), 191. 
8t. Germain de (8), 190. 
8t. Martin de (8), 190. 
8t. 8ilvain de (8), 190. 
8aUenelles de (8), 190. 
8ay, 210. 

8aVor Count of (8), 201. 
8tafford de, 200. 
8t. Liz de (8), 197. 
8uldham de (8), 220. 
8t. Gilles de j;8), 174. 
8imiane de (8), 175. 
Sohier de (8), 176. 
8alisbury Earl of, 174-5. 
Thouars de (8), 191. 
Tateshall (8), 192. 
Tancarville de (8), 191. 
Tessell de (8), 190. 
Tancarville de (8), 189. 
Tricolor — origin of^ 24. 
Toulouse Count of (8), 174. 
Ulcotes de (8), 218. 
Vasserburg dount of^ 173. 
Vieuxpont de (8), 189. 
Verdun, Verdon, 204. 
Vavasour (8), 206. 
Valence de, 198. 
Vesci (8), 194. 
Vipont de, 194. 
Veteripont de (8), 194. 
Worcester Earl of (8), 178- 

X I 47. 

Warren Earl of (S), 179. 
Warwick Earl o^ 179. 
Warren C. of (8), 222. 
Woodhall, 203. 
WattviUe de, 199. 
Winchester C. of (8), 195. 
Walton de, 199.