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Book-plate (arms) of 
President Greorge Washington, 








Copyright, 1898, by 













HELMETS . .48 



















How TO TRACE A PEDIGREE . . . .88 



PLATES (FIGURES 1 TO 119) . . End of the look 


IT is usual to commence American books 
on heraldic and genealogic matters with a 
half -apology for introducing such subjects 
to the notice of the citizens of a republic. 
The writer believes apologies to be entirely 
unnecessary. Such topics deserve their 
due share of attention (though it may not 
be a large share) in a country which con- 
tains millions of descendants of good fami- 
lies of England and the Continent. General 
George Washington inherited a coat of 
arms from reputable English ancestors, 
and used it on appropriate occasions. Ben- 
jamin Franklin applied for and obtained a 
grant of armorial bearings, and his motto 
was, Exemplum adest ipse homo (" Conduct 
marks the man "). Where two such Eepub- 
licans led, Americans need not fear to 

The writer began his heraldic studies as 
a school-boy with Scott's novels and Frois- 
sart's Chronicles. The present book has 



been written at spare moments, as a relief 
from very different work. The informa- 
tion that it contains will help to solve many 
enigmas in Architecture, Art, Literature, 
and History (both European and colonial), 
and will enable the reader to take an in- 
timate pleasure in matters that otherwise 
are merely puzzling and, at first sight, re- 
pellent. Much of our mother-literature 
(especially Shakspere, Scott, Tennyson, 
etc.), and very much of foreign literature 
(Ariosto, Tasso, Froissart, etc.), cannot be 
intelligently read without a little learning 
of the sort. Gothic Architecture tells no 
story, and Painting often tells an incom- 
plete one, without some rudiments of 
heraldic knowledge. Half the point of 
History is lost unless it is studied in its 
details. To comprehend its details (espe- 
cially in the period from the Crusades to the 
French Eevolution) an accurate knowledge 
of heraldry is a material aid. La Bruyere, 
in his " Caracteres " (De la Ville), enumer- 
ates the uses to which armorial bearings 
were put in his day (1688). "They are 
emblazoned everywhere," he says: "on 
stained-glass windows, over the doors, 


even on the locks, on coaches, and on 
liveries." What was true in 1688 is also 
true to-day. The seals of countries, prov- 
inces, and states are heraldic ; so are their 
flags. Coins and medals are stamped with 
heraldic emblems; each government de- 
partment or office has its seal ; cities, cor- 
porations, colleges, universities, employ 
seals and devices, as do societies and indi- 
viduals. Heraldry is a doctrine which has 
to do with all these things, and it is inter- 
esting and advantageous to know something 
of it. The visiting-cards of foreigners 
counts, barons, Freiherren bear their coro- 
nets, and the rank and title can be decided 
at a glance. Note-paper is similarly marked, 
and the sex and condition of the writer can 
be discovered from the coat of arms. 

As such devices are in every-day use in 
this country, and still more in foreign 
countries, it is worth while to understand 
the universal rules according to which they 
are employed, and not to make blunders 
that may easily be avoided. Not to follow 
these rules is simply to refuse to admit the 
alphabet of the language which one is em- 
ploying. For instance, no woman except 




a queen may bear a crest. Let American 
ladies remember this simple rule in order- 
ing their book-plates and stationery. No 
unmarried woman may bear arms on a 
knight's shield. Since A.D. 1350 (except 
on American letter-paper) such arms have 
been borne on a lozenge (0). 

The present little book treats of such 
matters in a compact form and a simple 
manner, and it is fully illustrated. Its 
materials have been gathered from leisurely 
and extensive reading, not only in English 
but in continental heraldry; and some of 
them, at least, will be new to most Ameri- 
cans. It will serve as a primer for young 
people, and as a handy book of reference 
to their elders; and it should be espe- 
cially useful to the members of the many 
hereditary patriotic societies now formed, 
and forming, throughout the country. 
Special attention is here paid to such 
organizations, and it is believed that a 
perusal of this book will make the reader a 
better, not a worse, American. 

E. S. H. 

NEW YORK, January, 



ARMS (or armorial bearings) are heredi- 
tary heraldic devices, arranged according 
to conventional rules, appertaining to and 
honorably distinctive of individuals, cor- 
porations, cities, countries, etc. They are 
usually blazoned (painted in color) on a 
shield, and surmounted by a helmet and 
crest, and they may be accompanied by 
supporters, mottos, and mantlings. An 
achievement of arms is the aggregate of all 
these devices as borne by a person; so 
called because in old days the honor of 
arms was achieved by knightly deeds. 
Heraldry (or armory) is the body of doc- 
trine (it used to be ranked as a science) 
which prescribes the rules by which arms 


are composed ; in its widest scope it has to 
do with honorary distinctions of all kinds. 
The business of the herald, as Dr. Johnson 
well says, " is to proclaim peace and to de- 
nounce war; to be employed in martial 
messages ; and to judge and examine coats 
of arms." 


THE tribes of Israel had their distinctive 
emblems Judah its lion. ^E schylus, He- 
rodotus, and many ancient writers describe 
the devices borne on the shields of warriors. 
Such devices were more than mere orna- 
ment, and partook of the nature of perso- 
nal badges ; but they were not hereditary, 
as armorial bearings are. Alexander the 
Great distributed such special distinctions 
among his generals, precisely as Napoleon 
granted arms to his marshals. Trajan's 
Column in Rome was erected in the years 
A. D. $-117, and the shields of the Dacians 
sculptured upon it are covered with em- 
blems, as the sun, the moon, etc. Even 
our Red Indian clans were distinguished by 
totemic signs, and each individual warrior 
had his personal cognizance. From remote 


antiquity nations and tribes have employed 
devices and insignia, which were often dis- 
played on their standards, banners, etc. 
The eagle of the Roman Empire is a famil- 
iar example. The white horse was borne 
by the Saxons from the earliest times, and 
it is to-day the cognizance of the house of 
Hanover ; it was the emblem used by Alfred 
the Great (died 901). The kingdom of 
Wessex bore a golden dragon. The wivern 
was the emblem of the Vandals ; the raven 
that of the Danes. The wolf was the em- 
blem of the city of Rome ; the horse's head 
that of Carthage ; the olive-branch and the 
owl those of Athens. So far as is known, 
these devices were not emblazoned on 
shields ; but they were the forerunners of 
true heraldic charges. Pope Benedict VIII 
(1013) presented to the Emperor Henry II, 
at his coronation, a globe surmounted by 
a cross, as an emblem of the power of 
the cross over the world. In later times 
this became the symbol of imperial or 
royal power among Christian nations (see 
Fig. 66). 

Such emblems among European nations 
laid the foundation for true heraldry. The 


arms of the knight were borne upon his 
shield, oftentimes repeated in his crest, 
painted on his banner, sculptured on his 
castle and on his tomb, and finally became 
a precious inheritance to his descendants. 
Here we have the marks of veritable arms 
as distinguished from non-hereditary em- 
blems. Emblems were personal badges, 
and were not necessarily inherited. Arms 
are hereditary. 


THE oldest of existing flags is that of 
Denmark the Danebrog, which was cer- 
tainly adopted in the thirteenth century. 
Tradition says that in A. D. 1219, during a 
combat with the heathen Esthonians, the 
white cross of the Danish flag appeared in 
the sky. It was adopted as a national em- 
blem, and an order of knighthood founded, 
which, under much-changed conditions, 
still exists (the Order of the Danebrog). 
The earliest banners were ecclesiastical. 
The oriflamme of France was the flame- 
colored banner of the Abbey of St. Denis, 
which was carried before the army as a 


sacred sign (A. D. 630). The banner of 
England, St. George's cross (argent, a cross 
gules), had a religious origin also. 


PHAEAOH gave his seal to Joseph (G-en. 
xli. 42), and Darius sealed the den of 
lions with his own signet (Dan. vi. 17). 
The seal of Haggai, son of Shebaniah (B. c. 
700), has come down to us, and copies of 
it can be bought for a trifle. 

The seals of monarchs and great nobles 
prove that during the twelfth century they 
bore, as personal devices, true armorial 
bearings. It was not until the return of 
Richard the Lion-heart from Palestine 
(1194) that the three lions passant gardant 
became fixed as the arms of England (Fig. 
78). Louis le Jeune of France seals with 
a fleur-de-lis in 1180. During the Third 
Crusade (1189) armorial bearings were 
common, as they had been proved to be 
useful by experience in war. The English 
soldiers were distinguished by a white 
cross sewed to their surcoats ; the French 
bore a red, and the Flemings a green, cross. 


The nobles charged their shields with such 
personal devices as pleased their fancy, or 
as recalled the object of their mission. The 
lion, the eagle, the cross, the scallop-shell 
of the pilgrim, etc., became common. The 
dragon, the wivern (emblem of the Van- 
dals), Saracens' heads, etc., bespeak an 
Eastern origin. The double-headed eagle 
of the Holy Roman Empire was adopted 
from an Asiatic device. 

The early ecclesiastical seals were im- 
pressed in the form of an elongated pointed 
oval, the shape of a fish, in allusion to 
the Greek initials of the sentence, Jesus 
Christy the Son of God, the Saviour ixers. 
As the early universities were ecclesiasti- 
cal corporations, the seals of colleges often 
take this form (see Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity, 1 Fig. 116). The seals of bishops 
are, in general, of this form also. 

1 The very beautiful seal of the Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity is reproduced here as a model of what such devices 
should be. In the design for the seal, symbols of learn- 
ing have been added (in the chief) to the well-known 
arms of Maryland, which are those of Lord Baltimore 
(Cecil Calvert), the first proprietor (1649). The Calvert 
arms (in the quarters I and III) are "paly of six, or and 
sable, a bend dexter counterchanged." Quarters II and 



AKMS were granted by the greater nobles 
to the Crusaders for gallant deeds, or they 
were assumed at will. They were at first 
merely individual cognizances, but they 
became hereditary about the end of the 
thirteenth century. A victorious knight 
had the privilege of assuming the arms of 
his vanquished enemy. The Carys of Car- 
isbrook in Virginia bear the arms (argent, 
on a bend sable, three roses of the field) 
which their ancestor, in the reign of Henry 
V, assumed from those of a Spanish knight 
whom he overcame in a trial of arms. The 
three feathers of the crest of the Prince of 
Wales were once the badge of the King of 
Bohemia, which, with his motto, Ich dien, 
were assumed by Edward, Prince of Wales, 

IV are for Crossland (derived by Lord Baltimore from his 
grandmother, Alicia Crossland, an heiress), namely, 
"quarterly argent and gules, a cross flory counter- 
changed." The chief is azure, and it bears a terrestrial 
globe or between two open books argent. The whole seal 
presents an heraldic picture of a university devoted to 
science (signified by the globe) and literature (the open 
books), situated in the State of Maryland. 


after the battle of Cressy, where the king 
was among the slain. The very earliest 
Crusaders did not bear arms. The shields 
of the French knights at Constantinople, 
about 1100, are described by Anna Com- 
nena as polished and plain. 

The Bayeux tapestry, tradition says, was 
embroidered by Matilda, wife of William 
the Conqueror. At all events, it represents 
the invasion of England by the Normans, 
and contains the figures of more than six 
hundred men, with horses, ships, banners, 
etc., all worked in colors, with minute at- 
tention to detail. Experts are agreed that 
true armorial bearings are not found in this 
work, which must have been subsequent to 
1066. It was not until the last part of the 
twelfth century that arms came into gen- 
eral use. No coins bear arms until the 
thirteenth century. The latest researches 
indicate that armorial bearings originated 
about the year 1150. Heraldic seals dated 
1157, 1159, 1163, etc., are still extant in 

It is reported that the tomb of Varmond, 
in the Church of St. Emmeran at Eatisbon, 
bears a shield parted per pale, charged with 


a lion over all, and the date MX. It is 
likely that the carving was done long after- 
ward in this case, as in many others. The 
earliest Pope of Eome who can be proved 
to have borne arms is said to have been 
Boniface VIII (1294-1303), though arms 
are ascribed to nearly all the popes since 
Lucius II (1144). The seal of Philip, Count 
of Flanders (1164), bears a lion rampant, 
which is still the cognizance of Flanders; 
and this is one of the very earliest exam- 
ples of an heraldic device. It is to be 
noted that a seal, whose impression was 
necessarily contemporaneous with the doc- 
ument to which it was attached, is evidence 
of the first importance. Coats of arms can 
be cut upon monuments and tombs at any 
time, and brasses set up whenever their 
evidence is wanted. 

1 For many years the Viscounts MacDuff claimed de- 
scent from the ancient Earls of Fife ; and to substantiate 
the claim an ancient monument (belonging to another 
family) was removed to the Duff mausoleum, and the date 
altered so as to read (in Arabic numerals!) 1404. A 
family of Deardens constructed in Rochdale Church a 
complete family chapel, with effigies, slabs, brasses, etc., 
all recording the lives and deaths of a line of sham ances- 
tors, no one of whom ever existed ! The lions of England 
cut on the monument of William the Conqueror at Caen, 


Experts in heraldry are often asked to 
" explain the meaning " of heraldic charges. 
Is gules a noble color! Does the lion sig- 
nify generous courage ! Does azure denote 
justice, loyalty? argent, purity ! or, force, 
constancy, riches! Is sable a sign of grief! 
etc. The earliest arms were assumed by 
individuals at will, or granted for specific 
deeds; and in such cases there may once 
have been a special meaning to the shield. 
Retainers were granted arms resembling 
those of their overlord. The branches of 
a family differenced their coats with differ- 
ent tinctures, etc. Many new coats were 
granted to new men. In most cases there 
was little "meaning" to the arms; and 
where there was a significance, it was (usu- 
ally) soon lost sight of. For example, the 
arms of Arnold Linden, Comte d'Archot, 
were or, three fleurs-de-lis sable ; and these 
arms descended to his eldest son. The 
second son assumed for arms, gules, three 
fleurs-de-lis argent; the third son, argent, 
three fleurs-de-lis gules; the fourth son, ar- 
gent, three fleurs-de-lis sable ; the fifth son, 

in 1642, were never borne by him. Seals impressed on 
documents cannot be so readily counterfeited. 

ARMS 11 

gules, three fleurs-de-lis or. If there were 
any special significance to the tinctures of 
the original arms, it was quickly lost in 
those of the sons. In other families totally 
different devices were employed by the vari- 
ous branches. 

In some cases the arms are rebus-like, and 
spell the name : as the swallows (hirondelles) 
in the arms of Arundel; the three towers 
(tours) in the arms of Tours ; the golden lion 
in the arms of Lyons ; the column in the 
shield of Colonna; the hen (Henne) on a 
mount (berg) for Henneberg ; etc. Here we 
may say the arms have a meaning. The 
Abbey of St. Denis has among its relics one 
of the passion nails of the cross; and its 
shield is charged with a passion nail, in al- 
lusion to this precious possession. But in 
general it may safely be said that coats of 
arms have now no " meaning," in the usual 
sense of the term. 

As Americans have no central office (like 
the Heralds' College in England) which has 
authority over the granting and bearing of 
arms, and as our governments take no offi- 
cial notice of them (except when they are 
borne as seals or trade-marks), it is impos- 


sible to lay down any rules in their regard 
that shall be really authoritative. Good 
taste and good usage must govern us here 
as elsewhere. 

In England, France, Germany, Austria 
(and in the United States), there is no legal 
obstacle to the assumption of armorial 
bearings by any individual or corporation. 
Any individual has the right to assume 
and to bear a coat of arms. In most coun- 
tries those who make use of arms (on seals, 
carriages, etc.) are subject to an annual 
tax ; and in Germany, etc., the law expressly 
forbids any individual to bear a coat of 
arms belonging to another person. 1 The 
annual tax, and the law protecting each 
person in the possession of his own coat, 

1 The following is a translation of a part of a letter re- 
ceived from the editor of the " German Herald " : 

"It is lawful for every citizen to assume a coat of arms. 
He may either bear a coat used by his ancestors, or he 
may assume and use a coat according to his own pleasure. 
It is, however, forbidden to assume a coat which is al- 
ready in use by another family. A register of arms is 
kept by the Heraldic Society of Berlin (Schillstrasse 
No. 3), in which arms are entered without cost." 

The same rule obtains in Austria and in most countries 
of the Continent. If heraldry is to be a live science some 
such provision must be adopted. Otherwise it becomes 

ARMS 13 

serve to regulate the whole matter; 1 and 
the tax is a very proper means of raising 

The seals of corporations and the trade- 
marks of individuals may be registered, 
and governments take measures to insure 
their exclusive use by those to whom they 
appertain. Armorial bearings were always 
strictly regulated in France, and during 
the reign of Louis XIV they were subject 
to a tax of twenty livres or forty if they 
contained fleurs-de-lis. The Revolution in 
1790 swept away arms ; but they were again 
revived under Napoleon, whose heralds 
devised new charges, pyramids, etc., 
that recalled his own wars, and not those 
of the Crusades. 

The Heralds' College was established in 
England in 1483. Its business was to reg- 
ister grants of arms, and to see that such 
distinctions were not borne illegally. From 

of antiquarian interest only. It is a practical fact that 
arms continue to be used in democratic countries as well 
as in monarchies. It is therefore only rational to recog- 
nize and to reduce to some kind of orderly rule proceedings 
that cannot be ignored or prevented. 

1 The annual tax in England is one guinea, or two 
guineas if the arms are borne on carriages. 


1528 to 1704 its officials made periodic visi- 
tations to the various counties, registering 
genealogies, etc. It is still in existence, 
though shorn of much of its power. Arms 
are still granted by the college to any ap- 
plicant for a moderate fee (ten pounds). 

The Montjoie roi cParmes of France dates 
from the thirteenth century ; and the office 
of Lyon king-at-arms of Scotland was es- 
tablished before 1371. The name " herald " 
first occurs in 1152 in the imperial consti- 
tutions of Frederick Barbarossa, though the 
office is as old as warfare. Heralds were 
the spokesmen for all the messages of the 
king or commanding general. 

During the fourteenth, fifteenth, six- 
teenth, and seventeenth centuries the kings 
of France ordered various heralds' visita- 
tions, because the wrongful assumption of 
nobility disturbed the incidence of taxes 
(from many of which nobles were exempt). 
The most thorough of these visitations was 
made in 1666-74. It was then laid down 
as a principle that those nobles who had 
borne titles and arms continuously since 
1560 were to be confirmed in their rights, 
provided they still held their lands, while 

ARMS 15 

those who had alienated their lands were 
required to prove that they had borne their 
titles since 1514. In 1714 proofs were re- 
quired no further back than 1614. A prac- 
tice dating back one hundred and fifty or 
one hundred years was sufficient confir- 
mation of a title, therefore, in monarchical 
France. Those Americans whose ancestors 
assumed arms in colonial days (as so many 
did) may be glad to have this precedent to 
refer to. 

The English idea of armorial bearings is 
that they are given as property to an in- 
dividual, and from him descend as property 
to his children and their children. Hence 
in England there is no such thing as the 
arms of a, family, except as the sons, grand- 
sons, etc. (not the brothers), of the grantee 
constitute Ms particular family. The prac- 
tice is quite different on the Continent. In 
theory, every Englishman who bears a coat 
of arms is noble. Nobiles sunt qui arma 
gentilicia antecessorum suorum prof err e pos- 
sunt. The arms of the bourgeois (citizen) are 
not recognized unless they are registered 
at the Heralds' College, when he becomes 
(in strict theory) a petty noble. In Grer- 


many, Austria, etc., arms are granted by 
the emperor to the noble class; but citi- 
zens may assume them, and are rather en- 
couraged to do so. When a citizen assumes 
arms they descend to his children. 

If a new coat of arms is to be designed, 
the following points, among others, should 
be attended to, and in all cases the advice 
of an expert should be sought. The shield, 
helmet, mantling, crest, and the lettering 
of the motto should all be designed in one 
style (as of the fourteenth or fifteenth cen- 
tury, etc.), and the models chosen from 
good examples. The divisions of the shield 
should be few, the charges simple; but 
pains should be taken to make the arms in 
fact new, and not a copy of those of an an- 
cient family. What right has a new man 
to bear the arms of the Howards or of 
Hohenlohe ! The crest should also be sim- 
ple, and it may well repeat the colors and 
the forms of the principal charge of the 
shield. The helmet should be in profile 
when the arms are designed for a simple 
gentleman. The mantling and the wreath 
should repeat the colors of the shield. In 
designing the helmet, the artist should re- 

ARMS 17 

member that it was slipped over the head, 
and that no part of it, therefore, should be 
so small that this could not be done. The 
helmets of many modern knights, as de- 
picted in their coats of arms, could not 
be put on even, much less worn. Coats 
of arms for cities, corporations, etc., are 
usually designed from the seal of the city, 

It may be convenient to bring together 
a few important dates. Arms were first 
used by persons about A. D. 1150 ; on coins 
in the thirteenth century. They came into 
general use in the thirteenth century, and 
at the end of this century they became 
hereditary. The oldest grants of arms (in 
Germany) date from 1401. Patents of 
nobility were granted by the German em- 
perors in the second half of the fourteenth 
century ; in France as early as 1270. Some 
cities had seals in the twelfth century, and 
arms in the middle of the fourteenth. 
Crests began to come into use (in England) 
about 1300, and soon became general. 
Mantlings first appeared (in England) with 
Richard I (1189-99), and they were in gen- 
eral use in the fourteenth century. Sup- 


porters were used from about 1300. Badges 
were worn in England before 1400. 


THE origin of heraldry must be referred 
to the Crusaders, who brought its customs 
with them on their return to their native 
countries. In each country the art has 
had a different development, so that Eng- 
lish, French, and German heraldry have dis- 
tinctive characters. In all countries the 
essentials are the same, and in each one 
heraldry has passed through three distinct 
and well-marked periods. 

In the first period (1150 to about 1200) 
the shield alone bore the arms. There were 
no crests. In the second period (1200 to 
about 1500) the armorial bearings of the 
warrior displayed the actual shield, hel- 
met, crest, which were worn by him in 
battle. This is the best period of heraldry, 
naturally. Fig. 64 (after Albrecht Diirer) 
may be taken as an example of it. 

As the implements of war were perfected, 
and especially as the use of gunpowder be- 
came general and effective, the armor of 


the knight was modified or laid aside. The 
third period, that is, modern heraldry, com- 
menced here. Since that epoch heraldry 
has become a conventionalized art, and its 
usefulness has been manifested in new 
directions. A lively picture of the condi- 
tions of warfare after the introduction of 
gunpowder may be had by conceiving the 
dismay and amazement of the incas of Peru 
when opposed by the firearms of the con- 
quistadors. An entirely new conception 
of military skill and valor came in with the 
harquebus and musket (1575). Gunpowder 
was the great leveler of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, as steam and electricity have been of 
the nineteenth. 

It may serve to throw light on the de- 
velopment of heraldry in different coun- 
tries if we compare it with architecture 
with Gothic architecture, for example. We 
have Gothic art exhibited in England, in 
France, in Germany, but in each country 
it has developed individual peculiarities. 
Just as the facade of the cathedral at Eouen 
is distinctively in the French style, just as 
that of York is distinctively English, so 
the style of a French or English coat of 


arms is felt by one versed in such matters ; 
and a sort of pleasure, akin to that derived 
from good architecture, is to be had from 
an armorial achievement which is well and 
suitably composed. No one can mistake 
a collection of Russian coats of arms for 
French or English. Their national char- 
acter is entirely obvious. 

In a general way it may be said that Ger- 
man heraldry best represents the spirit of 
the middle ages, though a collection of Ger- 
man coats seems to an English herald to lack 
somewhat in imagination and variety. The 
partitions of the German shield are simple, 
colors and metals are well disposed, and the 
charges are few. The crests are often elab- 
orate and seem heavy. English and French 
heraldry are much alike, though there are 
characteristic differences. The use of marks 
of cadency in France and England (to dis- 
tinguish the eldest, the second, the third 
son, etc.), and of helmets appropriate to 
each rank, are consequences of the law of 
primogeniture which prevailed in both 
these countries. The eldest son must 
needs have his privileges marked and 
guarded. Azure (the royal color of the 


Bourbons) predominates in French shields ; 
vert in those of Holland (why!) ; gules (the 
national color) in those of Poland. The 
ermine, so frequently occurring in English 
coats of arms, is doubtless a reminiscence 
of the arms of Brittany (whose shield was 
ermine). Italian heraldry has a style all its 
own. Italian shields have a special shape 
also. The symbol of the party of the 
Guelfs (a, chief azure, with fleurs-de-lis) 
and of that of the Ghibellines (the eagle- 
displayed of the empire) are very common. 
Spanish and Portuguese heraldry have 
been much influenced by that of France, 
though their national styles are plainly 
marked. The fields are frequently parted 
in three pieces, and the charges are nu- 
merous and confused. Danish heraldry re- 
sembles that of France and England, except 
that rebus arms (armes parlantes), which 
spell the name of the bearer, are more 
common. Arms in Russia have a well- 
marked style also. Japan was for centu- 
ries under the regime of a feudal system, 
and an elaborate emblematic armorial was 
there developed, which is in use to-day. 
Every noble Japanese family has its em- 


blem, which is emblazoned on the dress and 

The principal sources from which the 
history of heraldry can be derived are 
seals, coins, monuments, tombs, patents of 
nobility, grants of land or arms, the visi- 
tations and other records of the heralds, 
records of tournaments, rolls of arms, por- 
traits (which often bear the arms of the 
sitter), coats of arms carved on the exterior 
of buildings or in their interior decorations, 
woven in tapestries, etc. Almost every 
large library in the United States has a 
section devoted to works on heraldry and 
genealogy, and those who have read this 
little book will find it a good introduction 
to further explorations in this interesting 
field. Excellent articles on heraldry are to 
be found in many books of reference, and 
the reader may well consult these after he 
has mastered the principles here set forth. 
Perhaps the best of them within the reach 
of everybody are to be found in the Ency- 
clopaedia Britannica, in Johnson's Encyclo- 
pedia, and (under various heads) in the 
Century Dictionary. Many of the excel- 
lent cuts of this book are taken from the 


latter work. In the cyclopedia of Cham- 
bers (which gives great prominence to 
Scottish matters) the reader will do well to 
consult the articles on the chief Scottish 
families, as Argyle, Bruce, Douglas, Lind- 
say, Mar, Stewart, etc. The Almanach de 
Gotha gives the genealogy, etc., of the 
princely houses of Europe. There are simi- 
lar works relating to the counts, the bar- 
ons, etc. 


GOTHIC architecture can scarcely be ap- 
preciated in its details without a consider- 
able knowledge of heraldry. It was a uni- 
versal custom to display the coat of arms 
on buildings, tombs, monuments, windows, 
etc. The same custom is wide-spread in 
the United States, where the seals of the 
States and departments are to be found on 
many public buildings. The monuments 
erected at Gettysburg display the State 
seals, the badges of army-corps, etc., in a 
very instructive fashion. 

The new University Club in New York 
is to display the arms of American colleges 
on its facade. The new Library of Con- 


gress, in Washington, contains (in the read- 
ing-room) the arms of the States of the 
Union in colored glass. 

It is worth while to have some knowledge 
of the pictorial language of heraldry in 
order to derive the great pleasure which 
comes through such a familiarity. An he- 
raldic device, displayed in the right place 
and in the right way, produces precisely the 
kind of pleasure which a scholar feels from 
an apposite quotation. 1 


IF history is to be written at first hand, 
original documents must be consulted, and 
these cannot be properly understood with- 
out a knowledge of heraldry, which enables 
one to decipher the seals that they bear 

1 For instance, the seal of Harvard College on the 
eighteenth-century gateways to its grounds ; the Mapes 
memorial gateway at the new Columbia University in 
New York. But, on the other hand, what are these " eagles 
with wings displayed cheeky n doing in front of the Boston 
Public Library? They are a part of the arms of a noble 
Roman family. They are certainly decorative ; but they 
are as appropriate in that place as a door-plate "Beau- 
champs " would be on Governor Winthrop's mansion no 
more, no less. 


and by which they are authenticated. 
This is not only true of England and 
Europe, but also of the colonial period in 
America. All colonial papers were sealed 
by either public or private signets, and the 
seal employed will often fix the date of the 

As heraldry was a part of daily life up 
to very recent times, and a most essential 
part from 1200 to 1700, it is naturally re- 
flected in history and throughout literature. 
Fully to understand what one reads, these 
allusions must not be missed for want of a 
little study. The history of trade is illus- 
trated by the arms of the powerful London 
companies (gilds), which received their 
charters from 1327 onward ; and the seals 
of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges con- 
stitute a most interesting chapter in the 
history of learned foundations. 

The connection of families can often be 
traced by their arms and in no other way ; 
as Guillim says, in his " Heraldry " : " The 
Shaws are known to be Mclntoshes by their 
arms." The relation of the early Ameri- 
can emigrants to the English (and Dutch, 
French, etc.) families from whom they de- 


scend is often to be fixed by arms or crests 
engraved on silver plate, or by signet-rings, 
etc. Comparatively little use was made of 
arms in America during the century 1620- 
1720. It was a period of stress, and dis- 
tinctions of rank were more or less forgot- 
ten. With acquired wealth came leisure 
and a general desire to connect one's self 
with the mother-country. From 1700 on- 
ward more attention was paid to such mat- 
ters, and arms were quite generally borne 
by those who inherited them, or were as- 
sumed by others who had acquired fortune. 
The cemeteries of Boston, New York, New- 
port, Philadelphia, Annapolis, Richmond, 
etc., contain many gravestones engraved 
with armorial bearings. A few date from 
the seventeenth century; most are later 
than 1720. 

It is not possible to read the plays of 
Shakspere, the poems of Chaucer, Spenser, 
Tasso, Ariosto, Scott, Tennyson, and others, 
with full understanding without some know- 
ledge of heraldic rules and language. 

Awake, awake, English nobility ! Cropped are 
the flower-de-luces in your arms ! of England's 


coat one half is cut away (SHAKSPERE, Henry 
VI, Part I, act i, sc. 1), 

refers to the lilies of France, which Edward 
III had quartered with the lions of England. 

Where is proud Scotland's royal shield, 
The ruddy lion ramped in gold 

(ScoTT, Marmion, Canto IV), 

is one of the hundreds of allusions in Sir 
Walter Scott's poems and tales to armorial 


The Shield* Arms are generally borne 
upon a shield to signify their military ori- 
gin. The shape of the shield may be chosen 
at will, but it is essential, in good heraldic 
drawing, to have the style of the heraldic 
achievement harmonious throughout. A 
shield of the thirteenth century must not 
be surmounted by a helmet of the sixteenth, 
nor accompanied by a mantling of the sev- 
enteenth. Too little attention is paid by 
artists to this matter of style. The shield 
was originally made of wood and covered 
with leather (on which the arms were 


stamped) or with parchment (on which 
they were painted). Metal bands, fesse- 
wise, palewise, bendwise, 1 etc., and bosses 
were used to strengthen the shield; and 
some of the ordinaries of heraldry have 
probably been thence derived. A number 
of ancient shields are still extant usually 
in churches in Europe, or in museums. The 
shield of Heinrich of Hesse (died 1298) is 
still to be seen in Marburg, for example. 

The pointed Norman shields (Figs. 3, 4, 
5, 6, 7, 54) are the most graceful in form, 
and they are well suited to simple blazons. 
The conventionalized shields (like Fig. 51) 
are convenient for displaying charges, and 
are here employed for that reason only; 
but they are not suitable for seals, illumi- 
nated drawings, etc. The proper proce- 
dure is to select, from ancient drawings or 
monuments, the forms for crest, mantling, 
shield, and charges, and to reproduce them 
all in one consistent style. The style of 
any century may be chosen at will. Figs. 
106-112 are instructive in this connection, 
and especially Fig. 64. 

The shape of the shield employed is more 

1 That is, horizontal, vertical, inclined. 


or less determined by the arrangement of 
the bearings to be charged upon it, and 
it is an essential of good design that the 
charges should fill the entire shield. The 
size of a charge has no relation to its sig- 
nificance. The three lions of Fig. 78 have 
equal importance. 

The shield of a man, a warrior, the head 
of a house, is, as has been said, a knight's 
shield, and it is surmounted by his crest. 
His wife, in English practice, may bear his 
arms on his shield, but without the crest. 
His daughters may bear their father's arms 
on a lozenge ( ). The French practice is to 
blazon the arms of all women on lozenge- 
shaped or oval shields. The arms of na- 
tions, of provinces, cities, etc., are borne on 
a knight's shield. Monasteries, colleges, 
and the like often employ a pointed oval as 
a shield (see Fig. 116). 

Parts of the Shield. In describing a shield 
and its charges, it is always supposed to be 
borne as in war. That is, the left-hand 
side in Fig. 1 is called the dexter side, the 
right hand the sinister. The upper third 
of the shield is the chief. E, in Fig. 2, is 
the fesse-pointj .Fthe nombril-point. Nom- 


bril-points are not named in English her- 
aldry, though they are used on the Conti- 
nent. The whole surface of the shield is 
called the field. It is necessary for the 
reader to pay some attention to the defini- 
tions of this section. They give the heraldic 
alphabet, as it were, without which the bla- 
zon of a shield cannot be read. 

Division of the Shield (see Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 
7). :The shield is seldom all of one color. 
It is generally divided into parts. It is 
parted per pale in Fig. 3 ; per fesse in Fig. 
4; quartered in Fig. 5; parted per bend 
(dexter) in Fig. 6 ; per saltire in Fig. 7. A 
shield may be parted per bend sinister also. 
If it is divided into any number of equal 
parts with square corners, as six, eight, 
twelve, sixteen parts, etc., it is said to be 
quarterly of six, eight, etc. The lines of 
division may not always be straight lines. 
They may be a single smooth curve 
(embowed), or composed of several curves 
(unde), or edged like a saw (indented), or 
like battlements (embattled), etc. (see Figs. 
8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13). 

Tinctures* The surface of the shield is 
supposed to be covered, wholly or in part, 
by either metals, furs, or colors. 


The heraldic metals are two : gold, or; 
silver, argent. If the shield is emblazoned 
in colors, these are to be painted yellow 
and white respectively. They may be 
represented conventionally in black and 
white, as in Fig. 18 and Figs. 1, 2, etc. (i. e., 
a plain shield signifies argent). 

The principal heraldic colors are : 

Red gules (see Figs. 19 and 23) ; 

Blue azure (see Figs. 20 and 23) j 

Black sable (see Figs. 21 and 23) ; 

Green vert (see Figs. 22 and 23) ; 

Purple purpure (see Fig. 23). 

The latter color seldom occurs in English 
coats of arms. In French heraldry vert is 
called sinople, and flesh-color is called car- 
nation. Fig. 23 also shows the conventional 
method of depicting other colors (rarely 
used), as tenne, sanguine, etc. 

Of the heraldic furs, three are most com- 
mon, viz. : 

Ermine (see Fig. 24) ; 
Fair 1 (see Fig. 25) ; 
Potent (see Fig. 26). 

1 Dr. Edward Everett Hale shrewdly surmises that 
Cinderella's slippers were of fur=vair, and not of glass = 


Other furs are shown in Figs. 27, 28, 29. 
If new coats are to be devised, it is con- 
venient to employ these rarely used furs, 
especially as they lend themselves to effec- 
tive designs. 

The shield is wholly covered with these 
metals, furs, and colors. Upon it are 
" charged " certain devices, which are also 
of metals, furs, and colors. A funda- 
mental rule of blazoning is that metal 
must not be superposed on metal, nor fur 
on fur, nor color on color. A lion gules, 
for example, must not be charged on a field 
azure, nor a lion argent on a field or. 

Color may be placed on metal or fur. 
Metal " " " " color or fur. 
Fur " " " " metal or color. 

These rules have been universally fol- 
lowed in modern times, especially in Eng- 
land. There are many ancient coats, 
however, that do not conform to the 
rule. The arms of the kingdom of Jeru- 
salem, for instance, consist of crosses or 
charged on a field argent; the arms of the 
Inquisition in Spain were sable, a cross 
vert. Moreover, when a charge is blazoned 


in its proper color the rule does not apply. 
Azure, an oak-tree proper (i. e., vert), is an 
allowable blazon. 


A charge is any figure or device placed 
upon a shield. In the nature of things 
most shields must be distinguished by 
charges. The arms of D'Albret were 
originally a field gules without any other 
thing, says Froissart, until "the French 
king gave to his cousin-german, Sir Charles 
d' Alb ret, for the augmentation of his honor, 
two quarters of arms of France with flower- 
de-luces." The arms of Brittany are ermine 
and no more. But only a few shields can 
be composed with simple tinctures and 
without charges. 

The heralds have divided charges into 
several classes. It is only necessary here 
to distinguish two, namely, ordinaries and 
common charges. 

The ordinaries are as follows : The chief, 
which occupies the upper third of the field 
(see Fig. 30). Its diminutive is the fillet 
one fourth of the chief, and lying at its 


base. Tlcispale is a vertical band, one third 
of the width of the shield (see Fig. 14). 
The pallet is one half of the pale. The 
bend (dexter) is as in Fig. 31 when it bears 
another charge (as a lion, an eagle, etc.), and 
it then is one third the width of the shield 
(see Figs. 12 and 51). If it bears no charge 
it must be one fifth of this width. It has 
several diminutives (see Fig. 33). The bend 
sinister crosses the shield diagonally from 
sinister to dexter. It is not the sign of 
illegitimate birth. The baton is one fourth 
the width of the bend. It is couped (cut off) 
at its extremities, and is often used to mark 
illegitimacy. The cadets of the house of 
Bourbon bore the baton ; the illegitimate 
sons the baton sinister (Fig. 34). 

The fesse (Fig. 35) is one third the width 
of the shield, and the bar (Fig. 35 bis), is 
one fifth of this width. (The bar is borne in 
groups of two, three, etc. The fesse is fixed 
in position, while bars may be placed any- ; 
where in the field. A " bar sinister " is an 
impossible charge.) For various forms of 
the fesse see Figs. 8, 9, 10, 11. The chevron 
(Fig. 36) is formed of two bars conjoined 
(see also Figs. 56 and 57). A chevronel is 


a small chevron of half -width. In conti- 
nental heraldry the bend, f esse, and chevron 
are often arched or "bowed (as in the arms 
of Saxony, for example). The saltire is a 
St. Andrew's cross ; its form is shown in 
Fig. 37. The cross of St. Patrick, Ireland, 
is argent, a saltire gules ; the cross of St. 
Andrew, Scotland, is azure, a saltire argent. 
The Cross (see Fig. 38, which is the cross of 
St. George, England, argent, a cross gules). 
-There are very many forms of the cross. 
When no special designation is given the 
form of Fig. 38 is implied . Drawings of many 
of the forms are given in Figs. 39, 40, 41, 42, 
43, 44, 45, and 46. In Fig. 46 the Latin 
cross (2) has its lower limb the longer. The 
Greek cross is as in No. 7. The patriarchal 
cross (5) is a cross with a short bar across 
its upper limb. The cross of St. Anthony 
(3) is like the Greek letter tau. The cross 
potent (Jerusalem cross) is shown in No. 13. 
The Maltese cross (10) (so called because it 
was the cognizance of the Knights of Malta) 
is well known. The cross crosslet (Fig. 39) 
is a cross each of whose limbs is traversed 
by a short bar. If the lower limb of a cross 
is sharpened as if to fix it in the ground, 


it is described as fitche. Such crosses were 
set up by the Crusaders in their devotions 
(see Fig. 45). Crosses and saltires may be 
" voided," as in Fig. 37 bis. 

The quarter is, as the name implies, one 
fourth of the field (see Figs. 5, 51, 52, 57). 
The canton is a little quarter occupying one 
third of the chief, usually on the dexter side 
(see Fig. 47). The gyron is half of a quar- 
ter, bisected bendwise (see Fig. 48, where 
the whole field is gyronny). The gyron is 
said to have originated in Spanish heraldry. 
The bordure is one fifth of the width of the 
shield (see Fig. 49). It is frequently added 
to a coat of arms, especially on the Con- 
tinent, to distinguish an offshoot of a family 
from the original stock ; or, as frequently, 
in Spain, as an augmentation of honor. 
The treasure is one fourth of the bordure, 
In the arms of Scotland it is borne double, 
and fleury -counter -fleury, i. e., with eight 
fleurs-de-lis issuing from each tressure 
(Fig. 50). These fleurs-de-lis are said to 
allude to the early alliances of Scotland 
with France. 

The inescutcheon is a small shield borne 
on the center of the field (Fig. 52). Bezants 

small roundels of or (see Fig. 16 for 

When a shield consists of more than one 
tincture, the dividing-lines are described, 
as to their direction, as in the titles to 
Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17, 61, 62, 63. 
Fig. 15 is blazoned paly of six, because the 
lines divide the shield into six parts and 
lie in the direction of the pale. Fig. 61 is 
blazoned barry of six, etc. A field cheeky 
is divided like a chess-board (Fig. 62). The 
Stewarts bear a fesse cheeky. They were 
at first hereditary stewards of the Scottish 
kings; and the checkered board was used 
in making up accounts, it is said. 

The foregoing gives an account of the 
ordinaries and most of the subordinaries. 
The reader should consult the titles to the 
various figures in the plates at the end of 
this book. See especially Figs. 58, 59, 60. 
We have now to consider what figures may 
be charged upon the field, or upon any one 
of the ordinaries. 

Common Charges* Any device may be 
charged upon the field, animals, birds, 
letters of the alphabet, weapons, etc., and 
all such devices, except the ordmaries just 


described, are called "common charges. 77 
Each of these devices may be represented 
in its native tints (when it is called proper), 
or it may be displayed in any one of the 
heraldic metals, furs, or colors. A lion 
vert would be a zoological curiosity, but it 
is a perfectly correct heraldic charge. The 
forms of heraldic animals, etc., are highly 
conventionalized also. For instance, an 
heraldic lion is all mouth and paws; the 
features which represent his ferocity and 
strength are purposely exaggerated. A con- 
ventional heraldic style has been evolved in 
the course of centuries, which is not with- 
out its excellences, and which gives plea- 
sure to the expert. Fig. 64 is an admirable 
example of medieval heraldic design (in 
Germany), by Albrecht Diirer. It is a 
combination of medieval design with Re- 
naissance forms. 

Heraldic animals are described as to their 
position in technical terms, as rampant, 
sejant, etc. An examination of the figures 
at the end of this book will convey a bet- 
ter notion of the heraldic postures than 
verbal descriptions. In German heraldry 
it is indifferent in which direction the 


charges face. In English they always face 
to dexter, as has been said. If the arms of 
man and wife are marshaled on two shields, 
or on the same shield side by side (see Fig. 
65), it is a fixed rule in Germany that the 
charges must face toward each other, so 
that the arms of the baron (dexter half of 
the shield) are necessarily contourne, while 
those of the femme (sinister half) face in 
their natural direction. All English hel- 
mets in profile must also face to the dex- 
ter ; but it is not so in G-ermany. This rule 
is carried so far that in G-erman heraldic 
books it has been customary to make all 
the charges and helmets face toward the 
inner side of the pages ! This would not 
be tolerated in English practice. A few of 
the more important charges will be named. 
Heraldic terms not given here maybe found 
in the Century Dictionary. 

The lion (see Figs. 33, 55, 67, 68, 69, 70, 
71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78). The lion 
was for several centuries the charge most 
frequently used. In a roll of the time of 
Edward II the arms of 918 bannerets are 
given. Lions occur in 225 coats; and 
eagles, a very frequent charge, in 43. It 


has been the badge (cognizance) of England 
since the time of Henry I (A. D. 1127). Lions 
may be statant 1 (standing), passant (walk- 
ing), passant gardant (walking with the full 
face seen), rampant (as in Fig. 33), salient 
(as in Fig. 70), sejant (seated), etc. Lions 
are generally blazoned " armed and langued 
gules," i. e., with claws and tongue (langue) 
gules, unless the field is gules, in which case 
the color is usually azure. 

The stag (see Figs. 82, 83, 84, 85, 86). A 
stag is not said to be passant, but trippant ; 
not salient, but springing; not sejant, but 
lodged; etc. 

The eagle (see Figs. 87, 88). The eagle 
is usually displayed, i. e., as in the arms of 
the United States, Russia, etc. It is single- 
headed in the arms of the United States, 
ancient Eome, Germany, etc.; double- 
headed for Russia, 2 Austria, the Holy 
Roman Empire, 3 etc. The eagle of Mex- 
ico, with the cactus, is derived from Aztec 

1 These words are pronounced as they are spelled in 
English, not as in Norman French. 

2 The Czar of Russia assumed the double-headed eagle 
as a cognizance, in 1470, on his marriage with the niece 
of the last Byzantine emperor. 

3 The double-headed eagle has been the cognizance 


The boar (see Fig. 17). 

The peacock is said to be " in his pride w 
rhen the tail is spread. 

The pelican is said to be " in her piety " 
rhen in the nest feeding her young with 
)lood from her breast. Other birds are 

iown in Figs. 89, 90, 91. 

The wings of birds, in pairs or single, 
are very common in the crests of Ger- 
man heraldry. A plume of (three) feathers 
is the badge of the Prince of Wales. It 
was assumed from that of the King of 
Bohemia who was killed at the battle of 
Cressy (1346), and has since been the cog- 
nizance of the princes of Wales. Three 
allerions (eagles without beaks or claws) 
occur in the arms of Lorraine (alerion = 

The martlet is a swallow with no beak and 
no feet, and is frequently found in English 
heraldry (see Fig. 89). 

Fish. A fish is haurient when it is in 
pale with the head upward. A dolphin 
(dauphin) was the cognizance of the dau- 
phins of France (see Fig. 92). It is usually 
embowed (see also Figs. 93, 94). 

since the beginning of the fifteenth century. Before that 
time the emperor bore the eagle with a single head. 


Wild men or savages are most frequently 
met with as supporters. 

Parts of the human body (a hand, an arm, 
etc.) are often used as charges. The heart 
(of Bruce) appears in the arms of Douglas 
(Fig. 95). 

The dragon (see Fig. 79). The dragon is 
an heraldic charge, either with or without 
St. George (see the beautiful design on the 
obverse of the gold sovereigns of the Eng- 
lish currency). The cockatrice and wivern 
are fabulous beasts of the same nature, and, 
like the dragon, have heraldic forms all 
their own (Figs. 80 and 81). 

The sun usually appears "in his splen- 
dor," i. e., front face, or with rays (as in 
the seal of Bowdoin College, for example) 
(Fig. 53). 

The moon is usually either crescent (Fig. 
96) (a new moon with the horns pointing 
upward), or increscent (horns to dexter), or 
decrescent (horns to sinister). The three 
crescents interlaced of Fig. 97 is a very old 
design of religious origin. 

Stars have six wavy points (see Fig. 98). 
A five-pointed star is heraldically a mullet. 
The mullet as a charge is often pierced, i. e. 9 

ith a hole in the center, through which 
ie tincture of the field shows. 
Trees. The oak is most common, or the 
>ts and branches. Trees appear in crests 
tore frequently than as charges. 
The fleur-de-luce (see Fig. 54). " France 
icient " bore azure sprinkled with (many) 
Les or, as in Fig. 54. " France modern " 
>re azure, with three lilies only, arranged 
" two and one," i. e., with two lilies in chief 
and one in base. The fleurs-de-lis have 
figured in the arms of France since Louis 
VII (1179). Charles V (1364) first reduced 
their number to three. They were early 
introduced into English heraldry, and oc- 
cur twenty times in the roll of Edward II. 
Whatever may have been the origin of the 
charge now called fleur-de-lis, it is certain 
that it was not originally designed to rep- 
resent a lily. It is a very old emblem. 
The Empress Theodora (A. D. 527), for in- 
stance, bears one in her crown. 

The rose. The rose gules was the badge 
of the house of Lancaster, the rose argent 
of the house of York. A rose quarterly 
argent and gules was the badge of Henry 
VII, and is known as the Tudor rose. 


The thistle is the emblem of Scotland. 

The shamrock (quatrefoil) is the emblem 
of Ireland. 

Several of the States of the Union have 
formally adopted a flower as an emblem, as 
follows : Alabama, the goldenrod ; Califor- 
nia, the yellow poppy; Colorado, the co- 
lumbine; Delaware, the peach-blossom; 
Idaho, the syringa; Maine, the pine-cone 
and tassel; Minnesota, the cypripedium; 
Montana, the bitter-root; Nebraska, the 
goldenrod ; New York, the rose ; Oklahoma, 
the mistletoe ; Oregon, the goldenrod ; Utah, 
the sego-lily; Vermont, the red clover; 
Rhode Island and Wisconsin, the maple- 

A garb (or gerbe) is a sheaf of wheat. 

A mount vert (usually in the base of a 
shield) is a green mound of earth out of 
which other charges rise (as in the beauti- 
ful and appropriate seal of the United States 
Department of Agriculture) (see Fig. 118). 

The broad-arrow is often found as a 
charge. The master-general of the ord- 
nance (1693) used this charge, which oc- 
curred in his coat of arms, to mark cannon, 
etc. Ever since that day it has been em- 

ployed as a mark for government stores in 
general at all British stations, and it is 
as well known as the lions of England. 

The castle appears in the arms of Castile 
(gules, a castle or). 

The ladder is found in Galileo's arms and 
in the arms of the Scaligers of Verona. 

The spear. The arms granted to Shak- 
spere's father were or, on a bend sable, a 
tilting-spear of the field (i. e., or). 

The sword. The arms granted to Joan 
of Arc were azure, a sword in pale, point 
upward, supporting a royal crown, between 
two fleurs-de-lis or (Fig. 32 shows a sword 
in bend). 

When there is more than one charge on 
a shield, it is necessary to specify the posi- 
tion of each one. Three charges of one 
kind (in English heraldry) are always ar- 
ranged "two and one" unless otherwise 
specified. In continental heraldry the ar- 
rangement is always described. 

Cadency* The arms of a father descend, 
of right, to all his sons, each of whom may 
in turn become the head of a family. In 
early times the " differences " employed to 
mark the various branches were obtained 


by the use of bordures, by changing the 
colors of the coat, etc. English practice 
prescribes the following rules, which have 
not been strictly followed, however: The 
eldest son bears the paternal arms, " differ- 
enced " by a label, i. e., by a sign like the 
device in chief of Fig. 102. Here the fa- 
ther's arms would be or, and the eldest son's 
coat would be or, a label of three points ar- 
gent. The second son differences Ms coat by 
a crescent (Fig. 96), the third son by a mullet 
(a five-pointed star), the fourth by a martlet 
(Fig. 89), etc. The grandsons (during the 
life of their grandfather) difference their 
coats in the same manner. The second 
son of the eldest son would place a cres- 
cent upon his father's label, or "mark of 

Englishmen entitled to bear arms 
brought coats so differenced to America; 
and marks of cadency labels, crescents, 
etc. still remain on many American coats, 
and have, in fact, now become a part of 
the arms. They were not removed at the 
death of the parent, as they should have 
been. The arms of daughters are not 
differenced in this manner, as they are in- 


capable of founding a family. So long as 
they are unmarried their arms are the same 
as those of their father. If his arms are 
differenced, theirs must be, of course. The 
marks of cadency should be borne on the 
crest and on the supporters, as well as on 
the arms, in English heraldry, according to 

RAs we have seen, the shield may be di- 
ded in different ways by a few partition- 
lines. The different parts may be of differ- 
ent tinctures, and a comparatively small 
number of charges may be superposed on 
the shield in differing positions. These 
are the elements from which armorial bear- 
ings are built up, and they lend themselves 
to a great variety of relatively simple com- 
binations. It has been estimated that there 
are at least two hundred thousand different 
coats of arms known to-day. 1 

It is by no means difficult to compose 
an entirely new coat that shall be simple 
and yet entirely distinct from any coat now 
in use. 

While the right of bearing arms was 

1 The " Armorial Ge"ne"ral " of M. Eiestap (1861) alone 
contains the coats of more than sixty thousand families. 


formerly confined to the class of nobles, 
merchants were permitted to adopt distinc- 
tive devices, merchants' marks, which 
were placed upon their merchandise. Such 
marks, which are often mere monograms 
or letters of the alphabet, are frequently 
found in Polish coats of arms as charges. 
Of printers' marks, the best known is that 
of Aldus the dolphin and the anchor. 
In modern times we find ancestral arms 
put to practical use as trade-marks. The 
Montebello champagne is marked with the 
arms granted by Napoleon to Marshal 
Lannes (vert, a naked sword in pale), and 
there are many like instances. 


ABOVE the shield, and solidly resting 
upon it, is the helmet. It is full-faced 
with bars, for kings, princes, and the 
higher nobility ; full-faced, open, for baro- 
nets and knights ; in profile, closed, for es- 
quires and gentlemen in English practice, 
and also in French. These rules do not 
apply in Germany. Upon the helmet rests 
the wreath, a twisted band (six twists) of 
two tinctures. The principal metal of the 


arms occupies the first, third, and fifth 
twists (counting from the dexter), and the 
principal color occupies the other twists. 
For different forms of helmets see Figs. 
106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 119, and 64. 


CRESTS came into general use in the 
thirteenth century, and are an essential 
part of the arms. In German practice they 
often repeat the charges on the shield, and 
are very elaborate and of exaggerated size 
-very much larger than the shield, in many 
cases. The arms of the dukes of Mecklen- 
burg are or, a bull's head sable, crowned 
gules. Their crest is a fan or and gules, 
supporting a peacock's tail, and between 
the latter and the fan the shield is repeated. 
This crest, with its helmet, must neces- 
sarily be drawn very much larger than the 
shield. Many German crests bear horns 
in pairs, with or without additions. Wings 
in pairs occur very frequently in German 
heraldry as crests. In English practice 
there is seldom a relation between the crest 
and the charges of the shield. 


The crest is in theory a badge, to be as- 
sumed at will by an individual. In prac- 
tice the crest, like the arms, usually remains 
the same from father to son. In England 
the crest is frequently displayed over a 
wreath of the colors ; in Germany it is never 
separated from the helmet, on which it must 
rest solidly. German heralds make merry 
over our English crests floating in the air. 
In Germany all crests face as the helmet 
faces. If this is in face, so must be the 
crest; if in profile, the crest must also be 
in profile. This rule does not obtain in 
England, though it is the logical practice 
(see Fig. 55, however, where it is carried 
out; and compare Fig. 71). The German 
helmet may be borne full face or in profile, 
according to fancy. In England (and in 
France) each rank has its appropriate 
helmet. Moreover, a quartered coat (i. e., 
quarterings of various coats derived from 
different families) in Germany always has 
the right to at least two helmets and crests, 
though they are not always borne. In Eng- 
land it is not common to display more than 
a single helmet and crest, even when the 
right exists. 



THE helmet is often crowned, or the 
crown may appear without the helmet. 
Fig. 105 represents various crowns and 
coronets, such as are engraved on the 
visiting-cards of noblemen in continental 
countries. The chapeau (a red cap turned 
up ermine), the miter, the bishop's hat, etc., 
take the place of the helmet in appropriate 


IN English heraldry supporters are used 
only for the nobility and for a very few 
other persons. No woman (except the 
Queen and peeresses) is authorized to bear 
her coat of arms with supporters. In 
Germany the practice is entirely differ- 
ent, and good authorities hold that any 
person is free to assume supporters at will. 
Usually the supporters have no relation to 
the charges of the shield (the savages of 
Prussia, the angels of ancient France, the 
griffins of Austria, etc.) ; but occasionally 
there is such a relation (the bears of Orsini, 
the monks of Monaco, etc.). 



BADGES were borne by nobles at least 
as early as coats of arms, and they con- 
tinued in common use in England down 
to the times of Queen Elizabeth. The 
planta genista (broom) of the Plant agenets, 
the roses of York (white) and Lancaster 
(red), the bear and ragged staff of Earl 
Warwick, are well known : 

The rampant bear chained to a ragged staff 
This day I '11 wear aloft my burgonet 
(SHAKSPERE, Henry VI, Part II, act v, sc. 1). 

The Scottish clans still employ their 
badges of heather (Buccleugh), ivy (Gor- 
don), pine (MacG-regor), thistle (Stewart), 
etc., to which their chiefs (only) add two 
eagle's feathers. Badges are cognizances 
the marks by which individuals are dis- 


THE motto was anciently the cri-de- 
gmrre (the war-cry) as well as the personal 
motto of the noble. Froissart speaks of 

the cry, arms, and name" as if this 

rere the order of their importance; and 
it is true that war-cries were not per- 

dtted to the lesser nobles. Again, it is 
>robable that the arms did in fact precede 

ie family name in many cases. The de- 
vice in the shield of the noble gave the 
name to the family in some instances. The 
swallow (hirondelle) in the arms of Arundel 
was the origin of the family name. The 
family name or motto is frequently im- 
plied in the arms or crest (armes parlantes). 
Thus Sir Thomas Lucy, Shakspere's enemy, 
bore lucies (a fish, the pike) ; the Spurrs 
bear spur-rowels; Wolff von Wolffthal 
(Germany) a wolf in arms and crest ; the 
dauphins of France a dolphin (dauphin) ; 
etc. Hereditary surnames were not adopted 
until the thirteenth, and were not common 
till the fourteenth, century. The French 
de (De la Roche, for example) shows 
that many surnames arose from the 
name of a property, etc. There were few 
Americans bearing three names before 

In old German heraldry mottos were not 
employed. Bismarck's motto, In Trinitate 


Rolur, is not hereditary. It was assumed 
by the present prince when he received the 
decoration of the Danebrog from the King 
of Denmark. Dieu et mon droit, is the 
motto of England ; Gott mit uns, of Prus- 
sia; Plus ultra, of Spain ; Epluribus unum, 
of the United States ; etc. F. E. E. T. (the 
device of the house of Savoy) stands for 
Fortitudo ejus Ehodum tenuit. The device 
of the house of Austria the five vowels 
may be interpreted, Austria Est Impe- 
rare Orbi Universe; etc. The war-cry of 
the Templars was Beauseant, in allusion 
to their black-and-white flag. Beauseant 
is Old French for a black-and-white 

The motto of the coat of arms may be a 
purely personal one as well as the war-cry. 
Mme. de G-enlis, speaking of personal mot- 
tos, well says : " Chaque personne, par sa 
devise, revele un petit secret, ou prend une 
sorte d'engagement." A few mottos may 
be here set down as examples. 

Aberdeen: Bon Accord (A. D. 1308). 

The French Academy : A Vimmortalite. 

Beauharnais : Autre ne sers. 

Sara Bernhardt : Quand meme. 

Douglas : Jamais arriere. 


Erasmus (with a figure of the god Ter- 
minus) : Credo nulli. 

Louis XIV (with a sun in splendor l ) : 
Necpluribus impar. 

Mistral the poet (with a locust) : Le soleil 
me fait chanter. 

Montaigne: Sais-je? 

Peter the Great, in Holland, sealed with 
a signet on which the device was a carpen- 
ter's apprentice and the motto : Mon rang 
est celui d'un ecolier, et fai besoin de maitres. 

Eohan: Plaisance! 

Mme. de Sevigne (with a swallow) : Le 
froid me cJiasse. 

Voltaire: Au fait. 


KNOTS are a kind of personal badge (see 
Fig. 101, which gives the principal forms 
of heraldic knots). 


BLAZONING 2 a coat of arms means its 
accurate description in heraldic terms, 

1 Charles V of France used the same device, according 
to Froissart. 

2 Blazon (blazonry) is the doctrine according to which 
arms are described and marshaled. The word is proba- 
bly derived from the German blasen, to blow, in allusion 


so that it can be understood or drawn out 
from the description. The language of 
the herald is technical and brief, and its 
use cannot be learned except by practice 
on many examples. Only the barest outline 
of the art can be given here. In the first 
place, the description (the blazon) must be 
brief, and all tautology must be avoided. 
Each charge must be mentioned in the 
strict order of its importance (in the order 
of its nearness to the surface of the shield, 
for example). The first mention of a color 
(or metal) must give its name, as gules, 
azure, etc., and this name must not be re- 
peated. If it is necessary to refer to the 
color again, it is called "the first," "the 
second," etc. Thus a silver field with a 
green f esse, charged with two green crosses 
above the fesse and one below it, and bear- 
ing on the fesse itself three silver stars of 
five points, would be blazoned: argent, a 
fesse vert between three crosses of the sec- 
ond, as many mullets of the first. This 
blazon, and others like it, becomes very 

to the trumpets of the heralds at tournaments, where the 
name, arms, and lineage of the contending knights were 


plain when we recollect the fundamental 
rule that color must not be charged on 
color, nor metal on metal. The silver 
mullets must be on the fesse. If the stu- 
dent will carefully read the titles to the 
figures given in this book (especially Figs. 
16, 17, 56, 57, 64, etc.) he will obtain some 
insight into the rules of blazon. 


A COAT OF ARMS is hereditary. Every 
son inherits the paternal coat. If there 
are no sons, all the daughters (heiresses) 
inherit it, and can transmit it to their 
children. When one marries the arms go 
with the alliance. The husband has the 
right to "marshal" her coat with his, and 
their children inherit the new quartered 
coat. The marshaling of such complex 
coats has been performed in various ways 
at different epochs. Anciently the hus- 
band's coat was cut in two per pale (di- 
midiated), and its dexter half formed the 
dexter half of the new shield (A, Fig. 3), 
while the sinister half (B in the same fig- 
ure) was formed of the sinister half of the 
heiress's coat. This arrangement was very 


unsatisfactory, for obvious reasons. Parts 
of three lions of the husband's coat might 
be continued by parts of three ships of the 
wife's, etc. The next process (about A. D. 
1500) was to marshal by impalement. In 
Fig. 65, A, is the whole of the husband's coat, 
B, the whole of the wife's. The modern 
fashion is as follows : The husband bears his 
paternal arms (A) on a shield, and over the 
shield an inescutcheon (a small shield cen- 
trally placed, as in Fig. 52) bearing the arms 
(B) of the heiress, his wife. Unless his 
wife is in fact an heiress, he may not bear 
her arms. The children of such a marriage 
bear a quartered coat (see Fig. 5), with the 
paternal arms in the first and fourth, the 
maternal in the second and third, quarters, 

thus . Should the issue of such a mar- 

Jt> XX 

riage be an only daughter (heiress), she would 
carry the quartered coat to her husband. 
During his life he would bear his paternal 
arms (C), with his wife's quartered coat on 
an inescutcheon ; their children would bear 
a coat of six quarters, and so on (see Figs. 
51, 52, 57, for examples of quartered coats 
of arms). Such is the English practice. 


The custom in Germany and France (and 
in Scotland) is far more rational. 
Every ancestor and ancestress who has a 
coat of arms is represented in the quarter- 
ing. It would be well to adopt this rule in 
America. The coat of the German Empire 
contains a quarter for every province. The 
arms of Castile and Leon are quarterly, I 
and IV Castile (gules, a castle or), II and III 
Leon (argent, a lion rampant gules), and so on. 

In order to give the reader a little needed 
practice, the blazons of a few simple coats 
of arms are given below. If he will sketch 
out for himself the divisions of the various 
fields, and indicate the disposition of the 
different charges, he will acquire consider- 
able familiarity with the elements of the 
subject, and will be prepared to attack 
more complex cases. 

Angouleme : France ancient (i. e., azure, 
sprinkled with fleurs-de-lis or), a label of 
three points gules. 

Anjou : France modern (i.e. azure, three 
fleurs-de-lis or), a bordure gules. 

Aragon : paly of ten, argent and gules. 

Arundell of Wardour: sable, six swal- 
lows argent, 3, 2, 1. 


Austria : gules, a f esse argent. 

Sir Francis Bacon: gules, on a chief 
argent, two mullets pierced sable (i. e., two 
five-pointed black stars with white centers). 

Baden : or, a bend gules. 

Brandenburg : argent, an eagle displayed 

Bruce : or, a saltire and chief gules. 

Chateaubriant : gules, seme (sprinkled) 
with fleurs-de-lis or (like Fig. 54). 

Chaucer: per pale argent and gules, a 
bend counterchanged (i. e., the dexter half 
of the bend is gules; the sinister is argent). 
For examples of counterchanging see Figs. 
16, 17, and 116. 

Croy : argent, three bars gules. 

De Vogue: azure, a game-cock or, wat- 
tled and armed gules (i. e., with red dew- 
laps and spurs). 

Douglas: argent, a human heart gules, 
ensigned (i. e., crowned) with a royal crown 
proper, on a chief azure, two stars of the 
first (i.e., argent) (see Fig. 95 for a part of 
this blazon). 

Dukes of Orleans: France modern, a 
baton argent. 

John Evelyn: azure, a gryphon passant 


and a chief or (i. e., both animal and chief 
are or). 

Flanders : or, a lion rampant sable, armed 

Frontenac : azure, three eagles' gambs, 2, 1. 

Greece : azure, a Greek cross argent. 

Grenada : argent, a pomegranate proper. 

Guienne : gules, a lion passant gardant or. 

PHohenzollern : quarterly sable and argent. 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem : they 
bore on a chief gules a cross argent. 

London : argent, a cross gules, in dexter 
chief a dagger, point up, proper. 

Lords of the Isles: argent, a lymphad 
(i. e., an ancient war-galley) sable. 

Magdeburg : per f esse gules and argent, 
a bordure counterchanged. 

Knights of Malta : gules, a Maltese cross 

Mar : azure, a bend between six crosses 
crosslet fitche or. 

Percy (ancient) : azure, a fesse engrailed 
(i. e., with edges like Fig. 12) or. 

Pola (city) : vert, a cross or. 

Sardinia : argent, a cross gules, cantoned 
by four Moors' heads (i. e., one in each 
angle of the cross). 


Shelley : sable, a fesse engrailed between 
three whelks (i. e., shells) or. 

Sir Philip Sidney: or, a pheon (i. e., 
arrow-head) azure. 

Sleswick : or, two lions passant gardarit 
in pale (i. e., one above the other) azure. 

Stuart: or, a fesse cheeky argent and 

Suabia : argent, an eagle displayed sable, 
armed gules. 

Thun and Taxis : azure, a badger proper 
(a badger in German is Dachs, which is a 
rebus for Taxis). 

Tyrol : argent, an eagle displayed gules. 

Ulster : or, a cross gules. 

University of Bologna : gules, two keys 
argent in saltire ; on a chief azure a closed 
book, palewise, or. 

University of Cambridge, England : gules, 
on a cross ermine, between four lions of 
England, a book of the first (arms first 
used in 1580). 

University of Heidelberg: sable, a lion 
rampant or, crowned gules, holding in his 
paws an open book. 

University of Oxford: azure, between 
three open crowns or an open book proper. 


Venice: azure, the winged lion of St. 
Mark or. 

Washington (George) : see the frontis- 

Wellington (Duke of) : see Fig. 52. 


HERALDRY is closely allied with history in 
the armorial bearings of kingdoms and 
monarchs. The evidences of the alliances 
of ruling kings, and even of their aspira- 
tions, are, as it were, petrified in their coats 
of arms. The gold noble (coin) of Edward 
III of England displays his arms quarterly, 
I and IV France ancient, II and III Eng- 
land, and thus exhibits two interesting 
facts : first, that Edward claimed the crown 
of France as of right ; and, second, that he 
gave France precedence over England. 
And, in fact, the France which he claimed 
(western France, from Nantes to the Pyre- 
nees) was then a richer inheritance than his 
island kingdom. The fleurs-de-lis on the 
tressure (fleury-counter-fleury) surround- 
ing the lion of Scotland (see Fig. 50) 
mark the alliances of the Scottish and 


French royal houses. The Guelf s, who had 
claims on the throne of England (about 
1300), bore the English arms diminished, 
i. e., gules, two (not three) lions of England. 
Their crest contains the white horse of the 
old Saxons over a kingly crown. The seal 
of Trinity College, Dublin (1591), bears the 
name of Queen Elizabeth and the Tudor 
rose (the badge of all the Tudors), but also 
displays the portcullis, the badge of the 
Beauforts, and thus exhibits a piece of 
early history. 

The present arms of England are well 
known ; they are quarterly, I and IV gules, 
three lions of England (or) in pale j 1 II Scot- 
land (or, a lion rampant within a tressure 
fleury-counter-fleury gules) ; III Ireland 
(azure, a harp or, stringed argent). The 
shield is surrounded with the collar of the 
Garter, and surmounted by the royal crown. 
The crest is a lion of England. The sup- 
porters are a lion (for England) and a uni- 
corn (for Scotland). The motto is Dieu et 
mon droit. 

The full coat of arms of a monarch con- 
tains many quarterings to exhibit his many 

i See Fig. 78. 


alliances with princely houses. Whenever 
the daughter of the Elector of Bavaria was 
not in mourning it was a sign that "all 
Europe was in good health" (court of 
Louis XV). 


THE history of the great seal of the 
United States is given in an official docu- 
ment issued by the Department of State in 

Fig. 113 is a copy of the seal now in use. 
It is blazoned as follows : argent, six pallets 
gules, a chief azure, 1 borne on the breast of 
an American eagle displayed proper, hold- 
ing in his dexter talon an olive-branch with 
thirteen fruits, in his sinister a sheaf of as 
many arrows, all proper; above his head a 
sky azure, charged with as many mullets 
of the field, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, environed with a 
halo of rays or, and encircled with clouds 
proper; in his beak a scroll of the last, with 
the motto E pluribus unum. 

1 The arms. It should be noticed that the outer edges 
of the shield are argent; of our flag, gules. Notice also 
that the stars are not borne on the shield. 



The Congress of the United States 
adopted a national flag June 14, 1777. In 
the early days of the Revolutionary War 
the different colonies made use of various 
banners. The national flag adopted was 
to have thirteen stripes (corresponding to 
the thirteen original States), alternately 
red and white (red stripes bordering the 
field). The Union was to be blue, charged 
with thirteen white stars. After various 
slight changes, the flag remains as above, 
except that the Union is now charged with 
as many stars as there are States. When 
a new State is admitted its star is added on 
the Fourth of July next succeeding the date 
of its entrance into the Union. Our flag, 
in this form, was first displayed on July 4, 

The flag does not exactly reproduce the 
arms, it will be seen nor, of course, is 
there any reason why it should do so. 
Both flag and arms are strictly heraldic. 
In the opinion of most persons, the flag of 
the United States is used too freely, and 
with too little respect, for advertising pur- 
poses, as a trade-mark, etc. A movement 
is on foot to regulate its use in such ways, 


and several of the States of the Union are 
considering laws to restrain its improper dis- 
play. Such laws should be very carefully 
drawn so as not to impose restrictions 
that are merely vexatious. The more the 
flag is displayed the better, provided al- 
ways that it is done in a respectful man- 
ner. The national coat of arms is used very 
freely in England, Germany, Austria, etc., 
with excellent results. 

Besides the great seal of the United 
States, each of the executive departments 
(State, Treasury, War, Navy, etc.) has its 
seal ; and many of the bureaus (Bureau of 
Navigation, Hydrographic Office, etc., in 
the Navy, Engineer Department in the 
Army, etc.) have adopted seals. 

The Senate and House of Representa- 
tives also have their seals. The seal of 
the Treasury Department may be seen on 
all our paper money, the arms of the United 
States on our coins. 

Each State of the Union has its great 
seal. Those of the older States are often 
very appropriate and well designed (as 
those of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, etc.). Many of the seals of 


the newer States contravene all heraldic 
rules, and are mere monstrosities (those of 
Nevada, Kansas, Minnesota, etc.). They 
were adopted in a stage of culture in 
which such things were valued simply for 
their legal use. From time to time real 
improvements are introduced (by law), and 
it is instructive to note that these are al- 
ways returns to heraldic usage. Some of 
the States have adopted State flags (Con- 
necticut in 1897, for example) ; and a State 
emblem, usually a flower, has also been 
chosen in many instances. Most of our 
cities have seals, a few of them being very 
well designed. A very full account of 
American official seals is given in Zieber's 
" Heraldry in America." 


THE highest hereditary title that can be 
held by a British subject is that of Duke. 
The premier duke of England is Henry 
Fitzalan Howard, Duke of Norfolk and 
Earl of Surrey (1483), Earl of Arundel 
(feudal title about 1139, confirmed 1433), 
Earl of Norfolk (1644), Baron Fitzalan, 


Clun, and Oswaldestre (1627), Baron Mal- 
travers (1330, by writ). 

The premier duke of Scotland is Alfred 
Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, Duke of Ham- 
ilton and Marquess of Clydesdale (1643)^ 
Marquess of Douglas (1633), Marquess of 
Hamilton (1599), Earl of Selkirk (1646), 
Earl of Lanark, Arran, and Cambridge 
(1643), Earl of Angus (1389), Baron Ham- 
ilton (1445), Baron Abernethy and Jed- 
burgh Forest (1633), Baron Avon, Pol- 
mont, Machanshire, and Innerdale (1643), 
Baron Daer and Shortcleuch (1646), Duke 
of Brandon and Baron Dutton (1712). 

The premier duke of Ireland is Maurice 
Fitzgerald, Duke of Leinster (1766), Mar- 
quess of Kildare and Earl of Offaly (1761), 
Earl of Kildare (1316), Baron of Offaly 
(1205, by tenure). There are 22 English, 8 
Scottish, and 2 Irish dukes. 

The next hereditary rank is that of Mar- 
quess. In 1896 there were 22 English, 4 Scot- 
tish, and 10 Irish marquesses. Next in 
order come the Earls (121 English, 44 
Scottish, 62 Irish titles). The Earls are 
followed by the Viscounts (29 of England, 
5 of Scotland, 37 of Ireland). Then follow 


the Barons (310 of England, 25 of Scotland, 
65 of Ireland). 

The oldest title of Baron is held by De 
Courcy, Lord Kingsale, Baron Courcy, 
Baron of Ringrone (an Irish title of 1181, 
confirmed by patent in 1397, which was 
preceded by an English barony by tenure, 
from the Conquest, 1066). 

The title of Baronet was created by James 
I in order to fill his treasury for the con- 
quest of Ireland. Any gentleman with an 
estate of the annual value of one thousand 
pounds, who would agree to maintain thirty 
soldiers for three years in Ireland, might 
receive the title; and the treasury issued 
a receipt to him for the first year's pay of 
the soldiery, at the rate of eightpence per 
day. One of the most amusing of survivals 
occurs in this connection. The baronets 
of to-day are no longer obliged to maintain 
the quota of soldiers ; but the treasury, to 
preserve the ancient form of the warrant, 
still issues to the newly created baronet of 
1898 a receipt for the pay of thirty men for 
one year ! 

The first baronet of England (1611) was 
Sir Nicholas Bacon, father of Sir Francis, 


afterward Lord Bacon. A descendant still 
holds the title as eleventh baronet. There 
are 771 baronets of England and the United 
Kingdom (1896), 91 baronets of Scotland, 
64 of Ireland. A baronet is " Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, Bart.," for example; his wife is 
" Lady " Bacon. 

All the foregoing dignities are hereditary, 
and they are seldom conferred upon persons 
who have not wealth to maintain them. 
Personal honors are conferred upon indi- 
viduals, for their lives only, by bestowing 
the decorations of the various orders of 
knighthood, as the Bath, etc. The Knight 
is " Sir Nicholas Bacon, K. C. B." ; his wife 
is " Lady " Bacon. The lowest distinction 
is that of Knight Bachelor. It is conferred 
by the sovereign in person, and is personal, 
not hereditary. A Knight Bachelor is " Sir 
Nicholas Bacon, KtJ 9 ; his wife is "Lady" 

The nobility of Germany is divided into 
different classes, as follows: (1) Herzog 
(Duke) ; (2) Furst (Prince) (there are two 
classes of princes: the higher, who are 
addressed as Durchlaucht; the lower, who 
are styled Fwrstliche Gnaderi); (3) Graf 


(Count) ; (4) Freiherr (Baron) ; (5) nobles ; 
and this class includes the Eitter (Knight). 

In Austria the nobles are, in order, Her- 
zog, Furst, Marquis, Graf, Conte, Baron 
(Freiherr), Eitter, etc. 

In France, Due, Prince, Marquis, Comte, 
Vicomte, Baron, Chevalier. 

In Italy, Duca, Principe, Marchese, Conte, 
Viconte, Bar one, Nobile. 

In Sweden, Graf, Baron, Adel (noble). 

In Russia the order is, Princes, Counts, 
Barons, and nobles. 

One of the titles of the King of France 
was " Most Christian King " ; the King of 
Spain is " His Catholic Majesty " ; the King 
of Hungary "His Apostolic Majesty." 
Henry VIII of England received the title 
of " Defender of the Faith." These titles 
were conferred by the Pope. 


IN a small book like the present, written 
for Americans, little need be said of the 
orders of knighthood. At a diplomatic re- 
ception at the White House, or at a ball in 
London, the insignia of modern orders 
(which are worn only with full dress) may 


be seen. The Knight wears the jewel 
(usually a cross) on the left breast of the 
coat ; the Knight Commander wears it sus- 
pended from a ribbon round the neck (en 
sautoir) ; the higher officers wear a star on 
the breast, with a wide ribbon over the 
shoulder. In evening dress miniatures of 
the orders are often worn at the buttonhole 
of the coat. In morning costume a ribbon 
or rosette may be worn, also at the button- 

In former days Knights of St. John 
(Knights of Malta) augmented their coats 
of arms by a chief gules, charged with a 
cross or; and the Knights of the Teutonic 
Order bear its cross in their arms. For 
the higher grades of an order of knight- 
hood the collar of the order surrounds the 
shield of the coat of arms, and is charged 
with the motto of the order, as, Honi soit 
qui mat y pense (" Shame to him who thinks 
evil of it ") for the Garter. The lower grades 
(commander, knight) suspend the cross be- 
low the shield by the ribbon. In English 
heraldry the helmet of the knight must be 
in full face, not in profile. 

The history of the ancient orders of chiv- 


airy the Golden Fleece (founded 1430), the 
Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1048), the 
Templars (1118-19), etc. may be found 
in most books of reference. Some of 
the more important orders are mentioned 
below, with the dates of their foundation, 

England* Order of the Garter (A. D. 1350). 
This order, like those of the Thistle (1540) 
and of St. Patrick (1783), is bestowed only 
on princes and great nobles. 

Order of the Bath (1399) G. C. B., K. C. B., 
C. B. It is given to both soldiers and 

Order of St. Michael and St. George 
G. C. M. G., K. C. M. G., C. M. G. It is usu- 
ally conferred for services in the colonies, 
except India, which has two orders of its 
own, viz., the Star of India, and the Indian 
Empire K. C. S. I., K. C. I. E., etc. 

The Victoria Cross is not an order, prop- 
erly speaking ; but it is a high distinction 
for military valor. 

France* The old orders of France were 
swept away by the Revolution. A famous 
order the Legion of Honor was instituted 
by Napoleon I in 1802, and is still in exis- 


tence. Its ribbon is red. Though very 
freely given, it is highly prized. It is be- 
stowed on civilians as well as soldiers. 

Denmark. The Order of the Elephant 
(1190) is one of the oldest in Europe, as 
well as the Danish Order of the Danebrog 
(1219). The former is given only to princes 
and kings. 

Austria* Austria maintains an Order of 
the Golden Fleece (1430), and many other 
distinctions of the sort. The Order of the 
Iron Crown (of Lombardy) was instituted 
by Napoleon I in 1805, and has been 
adopted by Austria. 

Prussia. The Order of the Black Eagle 
(1701) is the highest distinction in Prussia, 
and its wearers are all of the higher nobil- 
ity. The Bed Eagle (1705) and the Order 
pour le Merite (1740) are given for civil 
merit as well as for military service. The 
Iron Cross is given for military valor alone. 

Saxony. The kingdom of Saxony has 
various orders, of which the Albert Order 
(1850) is most often seen. The Saxon 
duchies bestow the Ernestine Order (1690). 
Both are given to civilians as well as 


Belgium. The Order of Leopold (1832). 

Greece.-The Order of the Redeemer (1829). 

Italy. The Order of the Annunciation 
(1362) is one of the most ancient of Europe, 
and is bestowed on princes only. The 
orders of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus (1434) 
and of the Crown of Italy (1868) are given 
for both military and civil merit. The 
Pope bestows various orders also. 

Portugal has several orders, of which 
those of St. Benedict of Avis (1143), St. 
James (1170), the Order of Christ (1317), the 
Tower and Sword (1459), are very ancient 
foundations, connected with the Crusades. 

Spain also has several ancient orders: 
Calatrava (about 1150), St. James (1170), 
Alcantara (1156), Our Lady of Montesa 
(1316), the Golden Fleece (1430). 

Russia. The most famous order of Rus- 
sia is the St. George (1769), which is be- 
stowed only for the highest military ser- 
vices. The orders of St. Vladimir (1782) 
and St. Anne (1735) are often seen. 

Venezuela. The only order maintained 
on the South American continent is the 
Order of the Liberator (Bolivar), which was 
founded by Peru in 1825 (and subsequently 


dissolved), and adopted by Venezuela in 

United States* The Cincinnati is a true 
order, in which the honor descends to the 
eldest son. It was instituted at the close 
of the War of the Revolution (1783). Gen- 
eral Washington was its first president. 
The Medal of Honor, given by the United 
States to its soldiers and sailors, is a true 
decoration (see the section of this work on 
patriotic societies, pages 83 and 86). 


A VERY interesting chapter might be 
written on the silver plate of colonial times 
now in the possession of churches, corpora- 
tions, and individuals. Much was brought 
here from England and the Continent (and 
this can usually be identified and dated by 
the hall-marks). From early days there 
were American silversmiths, of whom Paul 
Revere (1735-1818), who made the night- 
ride from Boston to Lexington (1775), is 
perhaps the most famous. Pieces of silver- 
ware are often marked with the initials of 
married couples, thus w B A, which might 
mean that the piece belonged to William 



and Agnes Blake, for instance. Many of the 
seventeenth-century pieces were engraved 
with arms when they were brought from 
England. In the eighteenth century it be- 
came common for prosperous gentlemen in 
the colonies to assume armorial bearings, 
which were sometimes entirely new achieve- 
ments, but more often were similar to those 
of some branch of the family in the old 
country (see Fig. 119, which represents a 
piece of plate made in Boston before 1750). 


WITHIN the past few years there has 
been a remarkable movement in the United 
States, which has resulted in the formation 
of many patriotic hereditary societies of 
large membership, with chapters in every 
State of the Union. Those only are eligi- 
ble to membership who can prove their 
descent from an ancestor of colonial or 
Eevolutionary times, from an officer or 
soldier or seaman of the various wars, from 
a pilgrim in the May flower , an early Hugue- 
not emigrant, etc. These societies bring 


men (and women) of like traditions to- 
gether, and organize them in an effective 
way for action. The action contemplated 
is patriotic never religious or related to 
party politics. The general society from 
its headquarters issues charters to branch 
societies in the different States. Each 
State society forms an organized group of 
persons well known to each other, by name 
at least, and often personally. 

Certain of the societies have been very 
active in preserving old monuments, build- 
ings, landmarks, and historic documents, 
or in erecting tablets and monuments at 
historic places, or in marking the sites of 
battles or the graves of Revolutionary sol- 
diers. Others have founded prizes to be 
given annually to school-children for essays 
on events in American history. Others, 
again, formally celebrate the nation's anni- 
versaries. All of them foster patriotism and 
historical research, and teach organization 
the sinking of individual desire in a 
common loyalty. There are probably too 
many such organizations at present, and 
more are forming. The weaker societies 
will, however, die ; and those that remain 


will represent some real aspiration of their 

The exact significance of this remarkable 
movement this return to mutuality from 
individualism is not yet apparent. Some 
of its results are already obvious. Thou- 
sands of persons in sympathy with each 
other have been organized. If their col- 
lective action is needed, it can be com- 
manded. In the case of a foreign war, for 
example, the centers for defense, for hos- 
pital service, etc., are already in existence. 1 
The path of a military dictator in the 
United States would never have been 
strewn with roses, but such societies insure 
the effective distribution of thorns. The 
larger affairs of our States and cities will 
undoubtedly be greatly influenced by the 
union of good citizens, of like traditions 
(and those excellent), for common and un- 
selfish ends. Finally, the educative power 
of such unions, where, as has been said, 
loyalty to an abstraction is cultivated and 
individualistic aims are discouraged, is im- 
mensely important to our development as 

1 The Greek-letter fraternities of colleges could also be 
utilized in these ways. 


a nation. They supply exactly what was 
needed by the country at large, and more 
especially by its younger and cruder por- 
tions. In what follows a brief enumera- 
tion of some of these societies will be made. 
It must be remembered that many of them 
count their membership by thousands. A 
note directed to any of the secretaries-gen- 
eral (whose addresses are here given) will 
bring printed circulars in return, which 
give more detailed information than can 
be printed here. It is worth while for every 
citizen who is eligible to make inquiries, 
at any rate, and to determine whether it 
is not desirable to join at least one of 
these organizations. 

Each of these societies and orders has a 
seal (and often a flag) for the general so- 
ciety, as well as seals for the separate State 
chapters. A diploma is given to members, 
and each member has a right to wear the 
badge or decoration suspended from a rib- 
bon of the society's color. A rosette of the 
colors may be worn at the buttonhole of 
the coat. The right to use such insignia 
has been protected in many States by law, 
and the United States has authorized its 


officers and soldiers to wear the badges of 
the military and naval orders. It is some- 
times flippantly said that the right to wear 
such insignia is the sole motive for joining 
the societies. This judgment is entirely 
superficial. The greatest satisfactions of 
mankind have always been found in joint 
action for unselfish ends. In their special 
way these organizations foster a common 
effort for ends that are thoroughly worthy. 

As the entrance to such societies is 
through descent from some ancestor, gen- 
ealogy has been powerfully stimulated, and 
thousands of family records have been 
examined and summarized in print. Our 
colonial and Eevolutionary history has 
been studied in its details, which is the 
only way to fully realize it. The men of 
to-day have been connected with colonial 
and Revolutionary times. The children of 
the coming century will find their ancestral 
records all prepared for them, and they will 
be face to face with high standards of duty 
and effort. 

A few of these societies are very exclu- 
sive, and require high social standing of 
their members as well as eligibility on 


grounds of ancestry. The complaint has 
been raised that such societies are too aris- 
tocratic for a republic. The same charge 
might lie against many exclusive social 
or literary clubs. Such clubs and such 
societies often perform a very useful part. 
If they do not meet an actual want, they 
will most assuredly die. If their preten- 
sions are too great, they will be laughed out 
of existence. The world is wide ; there is 
room for us all. To allow full scope to all 
individualities is the mark of a strong 

The Society of Colonial Wars (instituted 
1892) is open to the lineal male descendants 
of civil or military officers, or of soldiers, 
who served the colonies between May 13, 
1607 (Jamestown), and April 19, 1775 (Lex- 
ington). The address of the secretary-gen- 
eral is 4 Warren street, New York city. 

The Society of American Wars (founded in 
1897) includes the lineal male descendants 
of soldiers or civil officers from 1607 to 
1783, and of officers of the War of 1812, of 
the War with Mexico, and of the Civil War. 
The recorder's address is 500 Eighth street, 
South, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 


The Order of the Founders and Patriots of 
America (founded 1896) is open to any male 
citizen of the United States who is lineally 
descended in the male line of either parent 
from an ancestor who settled in any of the 
colonies between 1607 and 1657, and whose 
intermediate ancestors adhered as patriots 
to the cause of the colonists throughout the 
War of the Revolution. Secretary-gener- 
al's address, 101 West Eighty-ninth street, 
New York city. 

The Society of the Cincinnati (instituted 
1783) is composed of descendants of officers 
of the Revolutionary army, usually the 
eldest male direct descendant. The address 
of the secretary- general is 31 Nassau street, 
New York city. 

The Aztec Club (founded 1847) is open to 
the descendants of officers of the army who 
served in Mexico, usually the eldest male 
direct descendant. The secretary's address 
is War Department, Washington. 

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the 
United States (founded 1865) is composed of 
officers who served in the War of the Re- 
bellion, and of their eldest direct male 
lineal descendants. A letter addressed to 


the recorder-in-chief, Philadelphia, Penn- 
sylvania, will be delivered. 

The Military Order of Foreign Wars of the 
United States (instituted 1894) is composed 
of officers who have served in such wars, 
and of their lineal male descendants. Sec- 
retary-general's address, 478 Classon Ave- 
nue, Brooklyn, New York. 

The Society of the War of 1812 (organized 
1814) is composed of lineal male descen- 
dants of soldiers or sailors of the War of 
1812. General secretary's address, Grerman- 
town, Pennsylvania. 

The Naval Order of the United States (in- 
stituted 1890) is open to officers of the navy 
who have served in war, and to their male 
descendants, etc., and also to enlisted men 
who have received a Medal of Honor from 
the United States for bravery. Secretary's 
address, Navy Department, Washington. 

The Sons of the American Revolution (in- 
stituted 1875) must prove their descent 
from a Revolutionary ancestor. The Sons 
of the Revolution (1876) is organized on the 
same basis. It is expected that these two 
large societies will soon be consolidated. 
Secretary-general, S. A. E., 143 Chestnut 


street, Newark, New Jersey. Secretary- 
general, S. R., 146 Broadway, New York city. 

The Holland Society (incorporated in 1775) 
is composed of the direct male descendants 
of Hollanders resident in America before 
1675. Secretary's address, 346 Broadway, 
New York city. 

The Huguenot Society of America (organ- 
ized 1883) admits descendants of Huguenots 
who came to America before 1787. General 
secretary's address, 105 East Twenty-second 
street, New York city. 

The Society of Colonial Dames of America 
(organized 1891) is composed of women 
descended from an ancestor who held an 
office of importance in the colonies previous 
to 1750. The secretary-general's address is 
825 St. Paul street, Baltimore, Maryland. 

There are various other societies for 
women, of which the most important are 
Daughters of the American Revolution (1890) 
(1710 I street, Washington, D. C.), and 
Daughters of the Revolution (1891) (128 West 
Fifty-ninth street, New York city), etc.; 
and there is also a society of Children of the 
American Revolution (1895) (902 F street, 
Washington, D. C.). 


The Society of "Mayf lower " Descendants 
(organized 1894) includes male and female 
descendants of the passengers of the May- 
flower (1620). General-secretary's address, 
228 West Seventy-fifth street, New York 

Medal of Honor Legion. The one decora- 
tion that is given by the government of the 
United States is the Medal of Honor, which 
was authorized by acts of Congress of 1862 
and 1863 to be awarded to officers and en- 
listed men of the army for " gallantry in 
action and soldier-like qualities during the 
present insurrection." It has been bestowed 
only for conspicuous services. For example, 
the Twenty-seventh Eegiment of Maine 
Infantry was present on the field where 
the battle of Gettysburg was fought, and 
its term of service had expired. The entire 
regiment, to a man, volunteered to remain 
on the field and to fight the battle ; and for 
this gallant conduct a medal was awarded 
to each officer and man. A Naval Medal 
of Honor is also awarded by the government, 
and it is highly prized. The United States 
also authorizes its officers and men to wear 
the decorations of those patriotic hereditary 


societies which commemorate service in any 
of the wars of the nation (not those of the 

There are a number of other societies, 
formed or forming, which are not men- 
tioned here for lack of space. 


CANDIDATES for membership in any of the 
hereditary societies are required to furnish 
a written pedigree showing their descent 
from some ancestor in Revolutionary or 
colonial times. For each person in the line 
to be traced back there should be given (1) 
the full name, (2) the date of birth, (3) the 
date of marriage, (4) the date of death ; and 
it is desirable to know for each male ances- 
tor, (5) his place of residence, (6) his civil 
or military service, etc. 

These data should be obtained from liv- 
ing persons for as many generations back 
as is practicable. Documents in the posses- 
sion of one's family may serve to carry the 
pedigree further. Finally, recourse must 
be had to town, county, and State records, 
and to genealogical books and publications. 


It will often be the simplest way to apply 
lirect to some professional genealogist, 1 
id to make an arrangement by which the 
dssing links are to be looked np. 
It is always more instructive and inter- 
sting to do this work one's self among the 
Family histories of a large library. Several 
of the States (Massachusetts is a striking 
example) have their colonial and Revolu- 
tionary records admirably arranged, so that 
the original documents (rosters, deeds, wills, 
etc.), or copies of them, may be readily con- 
sulted. All public libraries^ have many 
works on genealogy, and the librarians are 
prepared to give needed advice. A little 
perseverance, and a little system in keeping 
one's notes, will usually bring out what is 
needed. After the data are obtained, it is 
very necessary to arrange them in an or- 
derly form. Whitmore's Ancestral Tablets 
are well suited for such a purpose. These 
general directions are all that need be given 
here. The particular methods of research 
and the special books to be consulted are 

1 Addresses of such experts may be found on the ad- 
vertising pages of the publications of genealogical and 
historical or patriotic societies. 


different for different States. It is the busi- 
ness of the librarian or of the expert to put 
one on the track, and it is not difficult to 
follow it if one has access to the books. 


THE Egyptians have possessed written 
records for something like six thousand 
years. There might conceivably be a pedi- 
gree as long as this. A very little acquain- 
tance with the history of dynasties or of 
families shows that a proved descent of a 
thousand years is a marvel, and that one 
of two thousand is unknown in Europe. 
This brings us to ask, What is ancient lin- 
eage ! Mr. Samuel Pepys, who knew a little 
of everything, was in conversation with the 
Garter King-at-arms of his day (November 
11, 1664), who "in discourse did say that 
there was none of the families of princes in 
Christendom that do derive themselves so 
high as Julius Caesar, nor so far by a thou- 
sand years, that can directly prove their 
rise ; only some in G-ermany do derive them- 
selves from the patrician families of Rome, 
but that uncertainly ; and he did much in- 
veigh against the writing of romances, that 


five hundred years hence being writ of 
things in general true, the world will not 
know which is true and which is false." 
Since Pepys's time genealogy has become 
an exact science, and precise data are 
available. Among the barons of Great 
Britain, Lord Kingsale can trace the pos- 
session of his English lands to the Con- 
quest, and Lord Wrottesley to within a 
century of that time; Lord Sudeley in 
France to the Counts of Yexin in the tenth 
century, etc. The Danish sculptor Thor- 
waldsen claimed a proved descent from 
one of the Icelanders who returned from 
the discovery of America (A. D. 1000), etc. 
Mar was a powerful mormaership before 
St. Columba came to Scotland (A. D. 563), 
and its lord was one of the seven earls of 
Scotland. The descent is proved from 
1093, step by step. About A. D. 609 King 
Ethelbert of Kent granted lands in Essex 
to the church, on condition that the income 
should go to old St. Paul's in London 
(founded by St. Austin before 607), and 
the same land is still held by the church. 
This is the oldest tenure in England, and 
probably in Europe. 


All over the Orient, in Mohammedan 
countries, one meets with descendants of 
the Prophet (who was born in A.D. 570). 
It is probable that there are many pre- 
tenders to this honor ; but it is certain that 
there are hundreds and hundreds of per- 
sons whose claims are entirely authentic, 
and whose descent is carefully registered 
by the chief of the family, who has his seat 
in Mecca. Such a lineage is ancient, beyond 
a doubt. In China, where the tablets of an- 
cestors are preserved in a family hall and 
periodically honored, descent can be traced 
for centuries without a break. The de- 
scendants of Confucius (born B. c. 551) are 
hereditary nobles to-day. Among the Jews, 
too, especially the Jews of Spain and the 
East, and in Venice, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, 
genealogies of many centuries are common. 
The Mikado of Japan was the religious head 
of his nation as well as its ruler. The dig- 
nity is hereditary, and has remained in one 
family since the time of Nebuchadnezzar 
(B. c. 660). Here is the most ancient lin- 
eage known, though it includes adopted 
sons. The present Emperor of Japan is 
the one hundred and twenty-second of his 


line. There are few religions as old as this 

Among Western nations, poverty extend- 
ing over two or three generations, seems 
effectively to extinguish family pride, ex- 
cept, perhaps, in parts of Spain, where the 
common laborer may have the ancient coat 
of arms of his house built in among the 
stones of his hovel. Certainly in England 
and America poverty soon effaces all know- 
ledge or interest of the sort. 

Ancient lineage of the kind known to 
Moslems is the rarest thing in our Western 
world. Of the English barons in the House 
of Lords (some five hundred in number) 
there are less than a dozen whose baronies 
date back to 1400, and the earliest is 1264. 
The Moslem Seiyid goes eight centuries 
further back, to the great-grandfather of 
Mohammed (A. D. 472), or even, if we are to 
believe the commentators, to Adnan (B.C. 
122). There are less than a dozen English 
peerages of the fifteenth century even. 
The vast majority have been created since 
1700 for services in war, on the bench, or 
at the bar, or for landed power and influ- 
ence. The same thing, in a less degree, is 


true of the princely and ducal houses of the 
Continent. There are comparatively few 
of the German counts whose titles date back 
to the sixteenth century. In 1863 the House 
of Lords had not a single descendant of any 
of the barons who were chosen to enforce 
Magna Charta (1215), nor of any one who 
fought against the French at Agincourt 

The Almanach de Gotha is a trustworthy 
guide to the genealogies of the princely 
houses of Europe. The house of Hapsburg 
springs from Gontran the Rich, 1 Count of 
Altenburg, whose seat was in Switzerland, 
A. D. 952. His descendants first became 
Counts of Hapsburg, 1020 ; Kings of Ger- 
many, 1273 ; Dukes of Austria, 1282 ; Kings 
of the Romans and Emperors of Germany, 
1519, etc. The ancestor of the Bourbons 
was Robert the Strong, 1 Count of Anjou, 
864 ; Count of Paris and Orleans, 866 ; his 
son Eudes became King of France in 888. 
The Bourbons of Spain date from 1700. 
The house of Hohenzollern has its origin 
in the marriage of Friedrich, Count of Zol- 

1 Riches and strength have been the sources of power 
and rank from time immemorial. 


lern (1192-1200), with the heiress of the 
Counts of Nuremberg. It was not till 1411 
that a branch of this house was called to 
govern the mark of Brandenburg. In 1520 
they were Dukes of Prussia, and assumed 
the title of kings so late as 1701. It is in- 
teresting to remark that the right to bear 
the present crest of the Hohenzollerns (a 
dog's head, quarterly argent and sable) was 
purchased for a large sum of money in 

Every one remembers the pleasing tale 
of that Prince of Croy whose painting of 
the deluge represented Noah bearing into 
the ark a precious box labeled " Records of 
the family of Croy " ; and yet this ancient 
family appears " authentically " only in 
1207. The family of the Chancellor of the 
German Empire, Hohenlohe, has borne that 
name since 1182, but is still more ancient. 
The Metternichs date from 1350. The fa- 
mous family of Montmorencyhas for "prob- 
able origin" an ancestor in 1214; it is 
tradition only that carries them back to 
the Seigneur of St. Denis in 998. Talley- 
rand dates from 1199; Harcourt appears 
authentically in 1024; Bismarck in 1270; 


the Rohans (by that name) in 1128 ; Broglie 
in 1254; Gramont in 1381; Doria in 1335; 
Borghese in 1450; La Rochefoucauld in 
1019 ; Graham (Dukes of Montrose) in 1128 ; 
Noailles in 1230; Poniatowski in 1142; 
Choiseul in 1060 ; Radziwill in 1412 ; Riche- 
lieu in 1596 ; Grosvenor (Dukes of West- 
minster) in 1066; St. Maur (Dukes of 
Somerset) in 1240 ; Corsini in 1170 ; Rocca 
in 1102. 

The Colonnas were a patrician family of 
Rome, from which came, according to tradi- 
tion, four popes of Rome between the years 
300 and 884. Genealogically speaking, their 
origin is not proved beyond 1100. The Or- 
sini are descended from another patrician 
family, from which issued, according to 
tradition, two popes (A.D. 752 and 757). 
The popes elected in 1191 and 1277 did cer- 
tainly belong to this ancient and powerful 
family, which traces its authentic origin to 
a senator of Rome in 1190. 

The foregoing are some of the oldest 
names in Europe, specially selected out of 
long lists that include hundreds of later 
origin. The dates of the dukes of Napo- 
leon's creation Ney, Murat, Lannes, Ber- 


thier look very modern beside those of the 
Montrnorencys and Turennes ; but they are 
all in the lists for the same reason for 
magnificent services rendered to their 

The Almanach de Grotha has only room 
for kings and princes; but a reference to 
any book on the landed gentry (of England 
or of the Tyrol, for example) would show 
that long descents are by no means con- 
fined to the peers, and that there are very 
few really ancient lineages. If one is 
allowed to count the stream of blood as it 
runs through female as well as male ances- 
tors, the list of long descents is much in- 
creased by reckoning the marriages with the 
daughters of kings. Count Albert de Mun, 
the Catholic socialist, and leader of the 
" Eight " in the French Assembly, descends 
(through females) from Clovis the Great 
(born A. D. 465), and from the grandfather 
of Clovis, Merovseus, from whom the Mero- 
vingian kings derive their name. Here is an 
ancestry which puts that of the Bourbons 
(who do not even go back to Charlemagne) 
to shame, and it is, without doubt, the long- 
est proved pedigree of the Western world. 


If such descents in the female line are 
counted, England and America possess 
many long pedigrees, not a few of which 
are derived from descents from the daugh- 
ters of the Scottish kings, and may be 
traced back to Kenneth I (died 860), or to 
Kenneth's ancestor Fergus, who crossed 
from Ireland to Britain in A. D. 503. Many 
Irish pedigrees are portentously long, also. 

It is practically impossible to trace de- 
scents other than those of royal person- 
ages further back than the eleventh cen- 
tury, except in one special class of cases. 
When funds have been left with religious 
bodies for the saying of masses for the 
souls of ancestors, it is sometimes possible 
to connect them with their descendants. 
It was not until the eleventh and twelfth 
centuries, indeed, that an individual was 
known by a surname. An individual 
known by one name only is identified with 
difficulty, except under very special cir- 
cumstances. Consider how much labor 
has been expended on the pedigree of 
Shakspere or of Washington, and how 
little, comparatively, has been learned. 

In America there is an astonishing num- 


ber of families that can trace their descent 
from the first emigrant, and comparatively 
few which can prove their descent from an 
English ancestor. The first settlers, espe- 
cially of New England, kept excellent 
records of all their public transactions. 
Our public records have been, on the 
whole, admirably preserved, and the gene- 
alogical and patriotic societies throughout 
the country, as well as the governments of 
several States, have provided against their 
loss by reprinting many of them. It is not 
a little remarkable how easy it is to trace 
the growth of a family from the seven- 
teenth century down to the War of -the 
Revolution; and as Americans in general 
have a decided taste for genealogy, the re- 
sult has been a vast library of such family 
histories. Family pride of a perfectly 
legitimate sort has thus been stimulated, 
and this can never grow to be a dangerous 
thing in a republic. In fact, it is an ad- 
mirable lesson to learn to prize something 
less tangible than stocks and bonds. More- 
over, people in general have thus learned 
that there are hundreds of families as good 
as their own, and this is also an excellent 


thing to realize. Tradition tells us that the 
Laird of Macnab refused to acknowledge 
his descent from Noah (" the Macnabs had a 
boat of their own "), because he was used to 
live in a small community without equals. 


THE titles to the separate figures in the 
following plates contain nearly all heraldic 
terms in common use. 1 

Accompanied Fig. 56. 

Adorsed Fig. 93. 

Affronte . . Fig. 55. 

Anchored cross Fig. 41. 

At gaze Fig. 82. 

At speed Fig. 83. 

Augmentation Fig. 52. 

Azure Fig. 20. 

Bar Fig. 36. 

Barry Fig. 61. 

Base Fig. 1. 

Baton Fig. 34. 

1 For formal definitions of these terms the reader may 
consult the Century Dictionary, in which they are given 
with much fullness, or any of the other large dictionaries. 


Bend Fig. 31. 

Bendlet Fig. 33. 

Bendwise Fig. 32. 

Billets Fig. 59. 

Bird Fig. 91. 

Book-plate Frontispiece. 

Bordure Fig. 49. 

Bottony Fig. 42. 

Budgets Fig. 99. 

Caboshed Fig. 86. 

Canton Fig. 47. 

Cheeky ......... Fig. 62. 

Chevron Fig. 36 bis. 

Chief Fig. 30. 

Cleehe Fig. 43. 

Close Fig. 90. 

Coats of arms .... Fig. 106 et seq. 

Cockatrice Fig. 81. 

Combatant Fig. 73. 

Compony Fig. 49. 

Couped Fig. 74. 

Coupe Fig. 34. 

Counterchanged .... Figs. 16, 17. 

Counter-fleury Fig. 50. 

Courant Fig. 84. 

Crescent Fig. 96. 

Crosses Fig. 46. 



/.\ i f.-V, !.;.:' >'. - - 

Cross bottony Fig. 42. 

Cross cleche Fig. 43. 

Cross crosslet Fig. 39. 

Cross fitche Fig. 45. 

Cross of St. George Fig. 38. 

Cross patte . Fig. 44. 

Cross raguly Fig. 40. 

Crowns Figs. 103, 104, 105. 

Dancette Fig. 9. 

Debruised Fig. 33. 

Demi-lion Fig. 75. 

Descendent Fig. 88. 

Displayed Fig. 87. 

Dolphin Fig. 92. 

Dormant Fig. 72. 

Dove Fig. 90. 

Dragon Fig. 79. 

Eagle / . . Fig. 87. 

Embattled Fig. 10. 

Engrailed Fig. 12. 

Ensigned Fig. 95. 

Erased Fig. 74 bis. 

Ermine Fig. 24. 

Ermines Fig. 29. 

Erminois Fig. 27. 

Estoile Fig. 98. 


Fesse Fig. 35. 

Fish Fig. 94. 

Fitche Fig. 45. 

Flanched Fig. 58. 

Fleurs-de-lis Fig. 54. 

Fleury-counter-fleury .... Fig. 50. 

Fusil Fig. 60. 

At gaze Fig. 82. 

Gules Fig. 19. 

Gyronny Fig. 48. 

Hart Fig. 82. 

Haurient Fig. 92. 

Heart Fig. 95. 

Impaled Fig. 65. 

Inescutcheon Fig. 52. 

Interlaced Fig. 97. 

Invected Fig. 13. 

Issuant Fig. 76. 

Knots Fig. 101. 

Label Fig. 102. 

Lion Fig. 67. 

Manche Fig. 100. 

Martlet Fig. 89. 

Mound Fig. 66. 

Murrey Fig. 23. 

Naissant Fig. 77. 


Natant Fig. 94. 

Nebule Fig. 11. 

Nombril Fig. 2. 

Or Fig. 18. 

Pale Fig. 14. 

Paly Fig. 15. 

Paly bendy Fig. 63. 

Party per bend Fig. 6. 

Party per fesse Fig. 4. 

Party per pale Fig. 3. 

Party per saltire Fig. 7. 

Passant regardant Fig. 68. 

Patte Fig. 44. 

Pean Fig. 28. 

Potent Fig. 26. 

Purpure Fig. 23. 

Quarterly Figs. 5, 51, 52. 

Rampant Figs. 33, 69. 

Regardant Fig. 68. 

Sable Fig. 21. 

St. George's cross Fig. 38. 

Salient Fig. 70. 

Saltire . . Fig. 37. 

Sanguine Fig. 23. 

Seals Fig. 113 et seq. 

Sejant Figs. 55, 71. 

Silver plate Fig. 119. 


Sinople Fig. 22. 

Sleeve Fig. 100. 

At speed Fig. 83. 

Stag Fig. 84. 

Star Fig. 98. 

Statant gardant Fig. 67. 

Sun Fig. 53. 

Sword Fig. 32. 

Tenne Fig. 23. 

Tinctures Fig. 23. 

Tressure Fig. 50. 

Trippant Fig. 85. 

Unde Fig. 8. 

Yair Fig. 25. 

Yert Fig. 22. 

Voided Fig. 37 bis. 

Volant Fig. 91. 

Water-budgets Fig. 99. 

Wivern Fig. 80. 



A = center; 
B = chief ; 
C = base. 

Fig. 2. 

E = fesse-point ; 
F = nombril j 
G = base-point. 

Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. 

Fig. 3, Party per pale ; Fig. 4, Party per fesse ; 
Fig. 5, Quarterly ; Fig. 6, Party per bend (dexter) ; 
Fig. 7, Party per saltire. 

Fig. 8. Fig. 9. Fig. 10. 

Fig. 8, Argent, a fesse unde gules; Fig. 9, Or, a 
fesse dancette* sable; Fig. 10, Argent, a fesse em- 
battled gules. 


Fig. 11. 

Fig. 12. 

Fig. 13. 

Fig. 11, Argent, a fesse nebule gules. 
Fig. 12, Argent, a bend engrailed gules. 
Fig. 13, Argent, a pale "invected" gnh- 

Fig. 14. Fig. 15. Fig. 16. 

Fig. 14, Argent, a pale azure. 
Fig. 15. Paly of six, argent and gules. 
Fig. 16, Per pale gules and argent, three roundels 
coimterchanged, two and one. 

Fig. 17. Fig. 18. Fig. 19. 

Fig. 17, Per pale gules and or, a boar passant 
Fig. 18, Or (gold). 
Fig. 19, Gules (red). 


Fig. 20. 

Fig. 21. 

Fig. 22. 

Fig. 20, Azure (blue). 
Fig. 21, &?e (black). 
Fig. 22, Vert (or sinople} (green). 

Fig. 23. 

Fig. 23, The tinctures: a, or (gold); b, argent 
(silver) ; c, gules (red) ; d, azure (blue) ; e, sable 
(black) ; f, rert (green) ; g, purpurc (purple) ; h, san- 
guine or murrey (blood-red); j, k, tenne or tcnney 
(tawny, orange). 

Fig. 24. 

Fig. 25. 

Fig. 24, Ermine. 
Fig. 25, Fair. 
Fig. 26, Potent. 

Fig. 26. 





'''& '.'' -T- '."-'. 

L 'at ^^tgJ 'li I' ' ^^ 

Fig. 27. 

Fig. 28. 

Fig. 27, Erminois. 
Fig. 28, PetfH. 
Fig. 29, Ermines. 

Fig. 29. 

Fig. 30. Fig. 31. Fig. 32. 

Fig. 30, Argent, a chief #MZes. 

Fig. 31, Argent, a bend (dexter) azure. 

Fig. 32, A sword bendwise. 

Fig. 33. 

Fig. 34. 

Fig. 33, A lion rampant "debruised " by a bendlet. 
Fig. 34, Argent, a baton sinister, coupe, gules (the 
mark of illegitimate descent). 
Fig. 35, Argent, a fesse gules. 


Fig. 36. 

Fig. 36 bis. 

Fig. 37. 

Fig. 36, Argent, a bar gules. 

Fig. 36 bis, Argent, a chevron gules. 

Fig. 37, Argent, a saltire azure. 

Fig. 37 bis. 

Fig. 38. 

Fig. 39. 

Fig. 37 bis, Azure, a saltire voided argent. 
Fig. 38, Argent, a cross gules (St. .George). 
Fig. 39, A cross crosslet gules. 


Fig. 40. 

Fig. 41. 

Fig. 40, A cross raguly. 
Fig. 41, Anchored cross. 
Fig. 42, A cross bottony or. 

Fig. 42. 


Fig. 43. Fig. 44. 

Fig. 43, Argent, a cross cloche" vert. 
Fig. 44, A cross patte fitche. 

Fig. 45. 
Fig. 45, Three crosses fitche gules. 


Lr-ir-d Vnp^ 

( 3 AA 


Fig. 46. 

Fig. 46, Crosses: 1, Cross of Calvary; 2, Latin 
cross ; 3, Tau-cross (like the Greek letter tau) ; 4, 
Lorraine cross ; 5, Patriarchal cross ; 6, St. Andrew's 
cross (a saltire) ; 7, St. George's cross = Greek cross ; 
8, Papal cross ; 9, Cross nowy quadrant ; 10, Maltese 
cross; 11, Cross fourche ; 12, Cross forme or patte; 
13, Cross potent (the arms of Jerusalem) ; 14, Cross 




Fig. 47. 

Fig. 48. 

Fig. 49. 

Fig. 47, A canton dexter. 

Fig. 48, Gyronny of eight, gules and argent. 

Fig. 49, A bordure compony argent and gules. 

Fig. 50. 

Fig. 50, A double treasure fleury-counter-fleury. 
Fig. 51, Quarterly : I and IV of the paternal an- 
cestor ; II and III of allied families. 


Fig. 52. 

Fig. 53. 

Fig. 52, Arms of the first Duke of Wellington, 
with the augmentation of honor granted to him, viz., 
an inescutcheon of England. 

Fig. 53, The sun in his splendor. 

Fig. 55. 

Fig. 54, A shield seme of fleurs-de-lis (arms of 
ancient France). 

Fig. 55, A lion sejant affronte (the royal crest of 


Fig. 56. Fig. 57. Fig. 58. 

Fig. 56, Gules, a chevron accompanied by three 
crosses argent, two and one. 

Fig. 57, Quarterly: I and IV argent, a chevron 
gules; II and III gules, a cross argent. 

Fig. 58, Or, flanched gules. 

Fig. 59. Fig. 60. Fig. 61. 

Fig. 59, Argent, in chief three billets azure. 

Fig. 60, Argent, a fusil asure. 

Fig. 61, Barry of six, argent and gules. 

Fig. 62. Fig. 63. 

Fig. 62, Cheeky azure and argent. 
Fig. 63, Paly bendy argent and gules. 




Fig. 64, Arms of De Berghes, from Albrecht Diirer's 
original. ( " D'or au lion de gueules arme d'azur : 
Cimier [crest] un coq d'or crete et bar "be de gueules.") 


Fig. 65. Fig. 66. 

Fig. 65, The arms of the wife (B, B) impaled with 
those of the husband (A, A). 
Fig. 66, The mound. 

Fig. 68. 

Fig. 67. 

Fig. 67, A lion statant gardant. 
Fig. 68, A lion passant regardant 
Fig. 69, A lion rampant. 

Fig. 69. 

Fig. 70. 

Fig. 71. 

Fig. 70, A lion salient. 
Fig. 71, A lion sejant. 
Fig. 72, A lion dormant. 


Fig" 73. Fig. 74. Fig. 74 bis. 

Fig. 73, Two lions combatant. 
Fig. 74, A lion's head couped. 
Fig. 74 bis, A lion's head erased. 

Fig. 75. Fig. 76. Fig. 77. 

Fig. 75, A demi-lion. 
Fig. 76, A lion issuant. 

Fig. 77, Arycnt, out of a fesse gules a demi-lion nais- 
saiit proper. 

Fig. 78. 

Fig. 78, Three lions passant gardant in pale (the 
escutcheon of England). 




Fig. 79. Fig. 80. 

Fig. 79, A dragon passant. 
Fig. 80, A wivern. 
Fig. 81, A cockatrice. 

Fig. 81. 

Fig. 82. Fig. 83. 

Fig. 82, A hart at gaze. 
Fig. 83, A hart at speed. 
Fig. 84, A stag courant. 

Fig. 84. 

Fig. 85. Fig. 86. 

Fig. 85, A stag trippant. 

Fig. 86, A stag's head caboshed. 

Fig. 87, An eagle displayed. 

or THB 




Fig. 89. Fig. 90. 

An eagle descendent. 


Fig. 89, A martlet. 

Fig. 90, A dove close. 

Fig. 91. Fig. 92. 

Fig. 91, A bird volant. 

Fig. 92, A dolphin haurient. 

Fig. 93, Two dolphins adorsed. 

Fig. 93. 

Fig. 94. Fig. 95. 

Fig. 94, A fish natant. 

Fig. 96. 

Fig 95, Argent, a heart gules, ensigned with 
royal crown (part of the arms of Douglas). 
Fig. 96, A crescent. 






Fig. 97. Fig. 98. Fig. 100. 

Fig. 97, Three crescents interlaced (device of 
Diana of Poitiers). 

Fig. 98, A star (estoile). 
Fig. 100, The manche. 

Fig. 99. Fig. 102. 

Fig. 99, Two forms of water-budgets. 
Fig. 102, Or, a label of three points argent. 

Fig. 101. 

Fig. 101, Knots : 1, Lacy knot ; 2, Dacre ; 3, Bowen ; 
4, Wake (Ormond) ; 5, Stafford; 6, Knot of Savoy 
(Order of the Annunciation) ; 7, Harrington (or true- 
love) knot; 8, Bouchier; 9, Heneage knot. 


Fig. 103. 
Fig. 103, The royal crown of England. 

Fig. 104. 

Fig. 104: 1, The crown of Charlemagne; 2, The 
Austrian crown; 3, The Eussian crown; 4, The 
French crown. 




Fig. 108. 

Fig. 106, Coat of arms (Germany), about A. D. 1300. 
Fig. 107, Coat of arms (Germany), about A. D. 1350. 
Fig. 108, Coat of arms (Germany), about A. D. 1400. 



& CM 


Fig. 112. 

Fig. Ill, Coat of arms (Germany), about A. D. 1650. 
Fig. 112, Coat of arms (Germany), about A. D. 1750. 


Fig. 114. 

Fig. 113, Great seal of the United States of 

Fig. 114, Seal of the Astronomical Society of the 

Fig. 115, Seal of the Smithsonian Institution. 


Fig. 116, Seal of the Johns Hopkins University 
(the quartered shield is that of Lord Baltimore). 

Fig. 117, Seal of Harvard University. 


Fig. 118, Seal of the United States Department of 

Fig. 119, A piece of silver plate made in New Eng- 
land about 1750. 




This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 
on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 

g|if \\i\ 62Rn 


mi R 1962 

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_ 50m8 , 61 .General Library 

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