cloud erected and lighting up a man's skull encircled with two
branches of palm, over the head a marquess's coronet, all proper "].
A woman's breast occurs in the canting arms of Dodge (Plate
VI.) [" Barry of six or and sable, on a pale gules, a woman's breast
distilling drops of milk proper. Crest : upon a wreath of the colours,
a demi sea-dog azure, collared, maned, and finned or "].
An eye occurs in the crest of Blount of Maple-Durham [" On a
wreath of the colours, the sun in splendour charged in the centre with
an eye all proper "].
The man-lion, the merman, mermaid, melusine, satyr, satyral,
harpy, sphinx, centaur, sagitarius, and weirwolf are included in the
chapter upon mythical animals.
THE HERALDIC LION
HERALDIC art without the lion would not amount to very much,
for no figure plays such an important or such an extensive
part in armory as the lion, in one or other of its various
positions. These present-day positions are the results of modern
differentiation, arising from the necessity of a larger number of varying
coats of arms ; but there can be little doubt that in early times the
majority of these positions did not exist, having been gradually
evolved, and that originally the heraldic animal was just " a lion."
The shape of the shield was largely a governing factor in the manner
in which we find it depicted ; the old artists, with a keener artistic
sense than is evidenced in so many later examples of heraldic design,
endeavoured to fill up as large a proportion of the space available as
was possible, and consequently when only one lion was to be depicted
upon the shield they very naturally drew the animal in an upright
position, this being the one most convenient and adaptable for their
purpose. Probably their knowledge of natural history was very
limited, and this upright position would seem to them the most
natural, and probably was the only one they knew ; at any rate, at
first it is almost the only position to be found. A curious commentary
upon this may be deduced from the head-covering of Geoffrey of
Anjou, Fig. 28), which shows a lion. This lion is identically of the
form and shape of the lions rampant upon the shield, but from the
nature of the space it occupies, is what would now be termed statant ;
but there is at the same time no such alteration in the relative position
of the limbs as would now be required. This would seem to indicate
very clearly that there was but the one stereotyped pattern of a lion,
which answered all their purposes, and that our fore-runners applied
that one pattern to the spaces they desired to decorate.
Early heraldry, however, when the various positions came into
recognised use, soon sought to impose this definite distinction, that the
lion could only be depicted erect in the rampant position, and that
an animal represented to be walking must therefore be a leopard from
the very position which it occupied. This, however, was a distinction
known only to the more pedantic heralds, and found greatest favour
THE HERALDIC LION 173
amongst the French ; but we find in Glover's Roll, which is a copy
of a roll originally drawn up about the year 1250, that whilst he gives
lions to six of the English earls, he commences with " le Roy d'Angle-
terre porte, Gules, trois lupards d'or." On the other hand, the
monkish chronicler John of Harmoustier in Touraine (a contemporary
writer) relates that when Henry I. chose Geoffrey, son of Foulk, Earl
of Anjou, Touraine, and Main, to be his son-in-law, by marrying him
to his only daughter and heir, Maud the Empress, and made him
knight ; after the bathing and other solemnities (pedes ejus solutaribus
in superficie Leonculos aureos habentibus muniuntur), boots em-
broidered with golden lions were drawn on his legs, and also that
(Clypeus Leonculos aureos imaginarios habens collo ejus suspenditur)
a shield with lions of gold therein was hung about his neck.
It is, therefore, evident that the refinement of distinction between
a lion and a leopard was not of the beginning ; it is a later addition
to the earlier simple term of lion. This distinction having been in-
vented by French heralds, and we taking so much of our heraldry,
our language, and our customs from France, adopted, and to a certain
extent used, this description of lions passant as " leopards." There
can be no doubt, however, that the lions passant guardant upon the
English shield have always been represented as lions, no matter what
they may have been called, and the use of the term leopard in heraldry
to signify a certain position for the lion never received any extensive
sanction, and ^has long since become obsolete in British armory. In
French blazon, however, the old distinction is still observed, and it
is curious to observe that on the coins of the Channel Islands the
shield of arms distinctly shows three leopards. The French lion is
our lion rampant, the French leopard is our lion passant guardant,
whilst they term our lion passant a leopard-lionne y and our lion rampant
guardant is their lion-leoparde.
A lion rampant and any other beast of prey is usually represented
in heraldry with the tongue and claws of a different colour from the
animal. If it is not itself gules, its tongue and claws are usually re-
presented as of that colour, unless the lion be on a field of gules.
They are then represented azure, the term being " armed and langued "
of such and such a colour. It is not necessary to mention that a
lion is " armed and langued " in the blazon when tongue and claws are
emblazoned in gules, but whenever any other colour is introduced for
the purpose it is better that it should be specified. Outside British
heraldry a lion is always supposed to be rampant unless otherwise
specifically described. The earliest appearance of the lions in the
arms of any member of the Royal Family in England would appear
to be the seal of King John when he was Prince and before he
i 7 4 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
ascended the throne. This seal shows his arms to be two lions passant.
The English Royal crest, which originated with Richard I., is now
always depicted as a lion statant guardant. There can be no doubt,
however, that this guardant attitude is a subsequent derivation from
the position of the lions on the shield, when heraldry was ceasing to
be actual and becoming solely pictorial. We find in the case of the
crest of Edward the Black Prince, now suspended over his tomb in
Canterbury Cathedral, that the lion upon the chapeau looks straight
forward over the front of the helm (see Fig. 271).
Another ancient rule belonging to the same period as the contro-
versy between leopards and lions was that there cannot be more than
one lion upon a shield, and this was one of the great
arguments used to determine that the charges on the
Royal Arms of England must be leopards and not lions.
It was admitted as a rule of British armory to a limited
extent, viz., that when two or more lions rampant ap-
peared upon the same shield, unless combatant, they
were always formerly described as lioncels. Thus the
arms of Bohun are : " Azure, a bend argent, cottised
between six lioncels rampant or." British heraldry has,
however, long since disregarded any such rule (if any
definite rule ever really existed upon the point), though curiously
enough in the recent grant of arms to the town of Warrington the
animals are there blazoned six tf lioncels."
The artistic evolution of the lion rampant can be readily traced in
the examples and explanations which follow, but, as will be understood,
the employment in the case of some of these models cannot strictly
be said to be confined within a certain number of years, though the
details and periods given are roughly accurate, and sufficiently so to
typify the changes which have occurred.
Until perhaps the second half of the thirteenth century the body
of the lion appears straight upright, so that the head, the trunk, .and
the left hind-paw fall into the angle of the shield. The left fore-paw
is horizontal, the right fore- and the right hind-paw are placed diagon-
ally (or obliquely) upwards (Fig. 272). The paws each end in three
knobs, similar to a clover-leaf, out of which the claws come forth.
The fourth or inferior toes appeared in heraldry somewhat later. The
jaws are closed or only very slightly opened, without the tongue being
visible. The tail is thickened in the middle with a bunch of longer
hair and is turned down towards the body.
In the course of the period lasting from the second half of the
thirteenth to the second half of the fourteenth centuries, the right hind-
paw sinks lower until it forms a right angle with the left. The mouth
FIG. 271. Shield, helmet,
and crest of Edward the
Black Prince, suspended
over his tomb in Canterbury
THE HERALDIC LION 175
grows pointed, and in the second half of the period the tongue be-
comes visible. The tail also shows a knot near its root (Fig. 273).
In examples taken from the second half of the four-
teenth century and the fifteenth century the lion's body
is no longer placed like a pillar, but lays its head back
to the left so that the right fore-paw falls into an oblique
upward line with the trunk. The toes are lengthened,
appearing almost as fingers, and spread out from one
another ; the tail, adorned with flame-like bunches of
hair, strikes outwards and loses the before-mentioned
knot, which only remains visible in a forked tail (queue-
fourche). The jaws grow deep and are widely opened,
and the breast rises and expands under the lower jaw (Fig. 274).
Lions of peculiar virility and beauty appear
upon a fourteenth-century banner which shows the
arms of the family of Talbot, Earls of Shrewsbury :
Gules, a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed
or, quartered with the arms of Strange : Argent,
two lions passant in pale gules, armed and langued
azure. Fig. 275 gives the lower half of the banner
FIG. 274. which was published in colours in the Catalogue
of the Heraldic Exhibition in London, 1894.
FIG. 275. Arms of Strange and Talbot. (From a design for a banner.)
Fig. 276 is an Italian coat of arms of the fourteenth century, and
shows a lion of almost exactly the same design, except the paws are
A lion passant.
A lion rampant
1 76 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
here rendered somewhat more heraldically. The painting (azure, a
lion rampant argent) served as an " Ex libris," and bears the inscription
" Libe accusacionum mey p. he . . ." (The remainder has been cut
away. It is reproduced from Warnecke's " German Bookplates," 1890.)
When we come to modern examples of lions, it is evident that the
artists of the present day very largely copy lions which are really the
creations of, or adaptations from, the work of their predecessors. The
lions of the late Mr. Forbes Nixon,
as shown in Fig. 277, which were
specially drawn by him at my re-
quest as typical of his style, are
respectively as follows :
A winged lion passant coward.
A lion rampant regardant,
rampant queue - fourch.
A lion rampant,
to the sinister. A lion
guardant, ducally gorged,
statant guardant, ducally crowned.
A lion rampant. A lion statant
guardant. A lion sejant guardant
erect. Lions drawn by Mr. Scruby
will be found in Figs. 278 and
279, which are respectively: "Argent, a lion rampant sable," " Sable,
a lion passant guardant argent," and " Sable, a lion rampant argent."
These again were specially drawn by Mr. Scruby as typical of his
The lions of Mr. Eve would seem to be entirely original. Their
singularly graceful form and proportions are perhaps best shown by
Figs. 280 and 281, which are taken from his book "Decorative
The lions of Mr. Graham Johnston can be appreciated from the
examples in Figs. 2849.
Examples of lions drawn by Miss Helard will be found in Figs.
The various positions which modern heraldry has evolved for the
lions, together with the terms of blazon used to describe these positions,
are as follows, and the differences can best be appreciated from a
series drawn by the same artist, in this case Mr. Graham John-
Lion rampant. The animal is here depicted in profile, and erect,
resting upon its sinister hind-paw (see Fig. 284).
THE HERALDIC LION 177
Lion rampant guardant. In this case the head of the lion is turned
to face the spectator (Fig. 285).
FIG. 277. Lions. (Drawn by Mr. J. Forbes Nixon.)
Lion rampant regardant. In this case the head is turned completely
round, looking backwards (Fig. 286).
Lion rampant double-queued. In this case the lion is represented as
178 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
having two tails (Fig. 287). These must both be apparent from
the base of the tail, otherwise confusion will arise with the next
Lion rampant queue-fourche. In this case one tail springs from the
base, which is divided or " forked " in the centre (Fig. 288). There is
FIG. 278. Lion passant guardant.,
(By Mr. G. Scruby.)
FIG. 279. Lion rampant.
(By Mr. G. Scruby.)
FIG. 280. Lion rampant and lion statant FIG. 281. Lion statant, lion passant guardant,
guardant, by Mr. G. W. Eve. (From
" Decorative Heraldry.")
and lion passant regardant, by Mr. C
Eve. (From " Decorative Heraldry.")
no doubt that whilst in modern times and with regard to modern
arms this distinction must be adhered to, anciently queue-fourch and
double-queued were interchangeable terms.
Lion rampant tail nowed. The tail is here tied in a knot (Fig. 289).
It is not a term very frequently met with.
Lion rampant tail elevated and turned over its head. The only instances
of the existence of this curious variation (Fig. 290) which have come
under my own notice occur in the coats of two families of the name
THE HERALDIC LION
of Buxton, the one being obviously a modern grant founded upon
FIG. 282. A lion rampant.
(By Miss Helard.)
FIG. 283. A lion rampant.
(By Miss Helard.)
FIG. 284. Lion rampant. FiG. 285. Lion rampant
FIG. 286. Lion rampant
FIG. 287. Lion rampant
FIG. 288. Lion rampant
FIG. 289. Lion rampant,
Lion rampant with two heads. This occurs (Fig. 291) in the coat of
arms, probably founded on an earlier instance, granted in 1739 to
i8o A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
Mason of Greenwich, the arms being : " Per fess ermine and azure,
a lion rampant with two heads counterchanged." This curious charge
had been adopted by Mason's College in Birmingham, and on the
foundation of Birmingham University it was incorporated in its arms.
Lion rampant gnardant bicorporated. In this case the lion has one
FIG. 290. Lion rampant,
tail elevated and turned
over its head.
FIG. 291. Lion rampant,
with two heads.
FIG. 292. Tricorporate
head and two bodies. An instance of this curious creature occurs
in the arms of Attewater, but I am not aware of any modern instance
of its use.
Lion rampant Incorporate. In this case three bodies are united in
one head (Fig. 292). Both this and the preceding variety are most
unusual, but the tricorporate lion occurs in a
coat of arms (temp. Car. II.) registered in Ulster's
Office : " Or, a tricorporate lion rampant, the bodies
disposed in the dexter and sinister chief points and
in base, all meeting in one head guardant in the
fess point sable."
Lion coward. In this case the tail of the lion
is depressed, passing between its hind legs (Fig.
293). The exactitude of this term is to some
~. extent modern. Though a lion cowarded was
FIG. 293. Lion coward. . . >
known in ancient days, there can be no doubt
that formerly an artist felt himself quite at liberty to put the tail
between the legs if this seemed artistically desirable, without neces-
sarily having interfered with the arms by so doing.
Lion couped in all its joints is a charge which seems peculiar to the
family of Maitland, and it would be interesting to learn to what source
its origin can be traced. It is represented with each of its four paws,
its head and its tail severed from the body, and removed slightly away
therefrom. A Maitland coat of arms exhibiting this peculiarity will be
found in Fig. 294.
THE HERALDIC LION
Lions rampant combatant are so termed when two are depicted in
one shield facing each other in the attitude of fighting (Fig. 295).
A very curious and unique instance of a lion rampant occurs in
the arms of Williams (matriculated in Lyon Register in 1862, as the
second and third quarterings of the arms of Sir James Williams
Drummond of Hawthornden,
Bt.), the coat in question being :
Argent, a lion rampant, the body
sable, the head, paws, and tuft of
the tail of the field.
Lion passant. A lion in this
position (Fig. 296) is represented
in the act of walking, the dexter
forepaw being raised, but all three
others being upon the ground.
Lion passant guardant. This
(Fig. 297) is the same as the
previous position, except that the
head is turned to face the spec-
tator. The lions in the quarter-
ing for England in the Royal
coat of arms are " three lions
passant guardant in pale."
Lion of England. This is " a
lion passant guardant or," and
the term is only employed for a
lion of this description when it
occurs as or in an honourable
augmentation, then being usually
represented on a field of gules.
A lion passant guardant or, is
now never granted to any appli-
cant except under a specific
Royal Warrant to that effect. It
occurs in many augmentations,
e.g. Wolfe, Camperdown, and
many others ; and when three lions passant guardant in pale or upon a
canton gules are granted, as in the arms of Lane (Plate II.), the
augmentation is termed a " canton of England."
Lion passant regardant is as the lion passant, but with the head
turned right round looking behind (Fig. 298). A lion is not often
met with in this position.
Lions passant dimidiated. A curious survival of the ancient but now
FlG. 294. Armorial bearings of Alexander
Charles Richards Maitland, Esq. : Or, a lien
rampant gules, couped in aU his joints of the
field, within a double tressure floryand counter-
flory azure, a bbrdure engrailed ermine. Mant-
ling gules and or. Crest : upon a wreath of his
liveries, a lion sejant erect and affronte gules,
holding in his dexter paw a sword proper, hilted
and pommelled gold, and in his sinister a fleur-
de-lis argent. Motto : " Consilio et animis."
1 82 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
obsolete practice of dimidiation is found in the arms of several English
seaport towns. Doubtless all can be traced to the " so-called " arms
of the " Cinque Ports," which show three lions passant guardant dimi-
diated with the hulks of three ships. There can be no doubt whatever
that this originally came from the dimidiation of two separate coats,
viz. the Royal Arms of England (the three lions passant guardant),
and the other " azure, three ships argent/' typical of the Cinque Ports,
referring perhaps to the protection of the coasts for which they were
liable, or possibly merely to their seaboard position. Whilst Sandwich l
uses the two separate coats simply dimidiated upon one shield, the
arms of Hastings 2 vary slightly, being : " Party per pale gules and
FIG. 295. Two lions rampant
FIG. 296. Lion passant.
FIG. 297. Lion passant
azure, a lion passant guardant or, between in chief and in base a lion
passant guardant of the last dimidiated with the hulk of a ship argent."
From long usage we have grown accustomed to consider these two
conjoined and dimidiated figures as one figure (Fig. 299), and in the
recent grant of arms to Ramsgate 3 a figure of this kind was granted
as a simple charge.
The arms of Yarmouth 4 afford another instance of a resulting figure
of this class, the three lions passant guardant of England being here
dimidiated with as many herrings naiant.
Lion statant. The distinction between a lion passant and a lion
statant is that the lion statant has all four paws resting upon the
1 Arms of Sandwich : Party per pale gules and azure, three demi-lions passant guardant or,
conjoined to the hulks of as many ships argent.
2 Arms of Hastings : Party per pale gules and azure, a lion passant guardant or, between in
chief and in base a lion passant guardant or, dimidiated with the hulk of a ship argent.
3 Arms of Ramsgate : Quarterly gules and azure, a cross parted and fretty argent between a
horse rampant of the last in the first quarter, a demi-lion passant guardant of the third conjoined
to the hulk of a ship or in the second, a dolphin naiant proper in the third, and a lymphad also or
in the fourth. Crest : a naval crown or, a pier-head, thereon a lighthouse, both proper. Motto :
" Salus naufragis salus segris."
4 Arms of Yarmouth : Party per pale gules and azure, three demi-lions passant guardant or,
conjoined to the bodies of as many herrings argent. Motto : " Rex et nostra jura."
THE HERALDIC LION 183
ground. The two forepaws are usually placed together (Fig. 300).
Whilst but seldom met with as a charge upon a shield, the lion statant
is by no means rare as a crest.
Lion statant tail extended. This term is a curious and, seemingly, a
purposeless refinement, resulting from the perpetuation in certain cases
of one particular method of depicting the crest originally when a
crest a lion was always so drawn but k cannot be overlooked, be-
FIG. 298. Lion passant re-
FIG. 299. Lion passant guard,
dimidiated with the hulk of
FIG. 300. Lion statant.
FIG. 301. Lion statant tail
FIG. 302. Lion statant
FIG. 303. Lion salient.
cause in the crests of both Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and Percy,
Duke of Northumberland, the crest is now stereotyped as a lion in
this form (Fig. 301) upon a chapeau.
Lion statant guardant (Fig. 302). This (crowned) is of course the
Royal crest of England, and examples of it will be found in the arms
of the Sovereign and other descendants, legitimate and illegitimate, of
Sovereigns of this country. An exceptionally fine rendering of it
occurs in the Windsor Castle Bookplates executed by Mr. G. W. Eve.
Lion salient. This, which is a very rare position for a lion, repre-
sents it in the act of springing, the two hind legs being on the ground,
the others in the air (Fig. 303).
184 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
Lion salient guardant. There is no reason why the lion salient may
not be guardant or regardant, though an instance of the use of either
does not come readily to mind.
Lion sejant. Very great laxity is found in the terms applied to lions
sejant, consequently care is necessary to distinguish the various forms.
The true lion sejant is represented in profile, seated on its haunches,
with the forepaws resting on the ground (Fig. 304).
FIG. 304. Lion sejant.
FIG. 305. Lion sejant
FIG. 306. Lion sejant
FIG. 307. Lion sejant erect,
FIG. 308. Lion sejant
FIG. 309. Lion sejant
Lion sejant guardant. This is as the foregoing, but with the .face
(only) turned to the spectator (Fig. 305).
Lion sejant regardant. In this the head is turned right back to
gaze behind (Fig. 306).
Lion sejant erect (or, as it is sometimes not very happily termed,
sejant-rampant). In this position the lion is sitting upon its haunches,
but the body is erect, and it has its forepaws raised in the air (Fig. 307).
Lion sejant guardant erect is as the last figure, but the head faces
the spectator (Fig. 308).
Lion sejant regardant erect is as the foregoing, but with the head
turned right round to look backwards (Fig. 309).
Lion sejant affronte. In this case the lion is seated on its haunches,
THE HERALDIC LION 185
but the whole body is turned to face the spectator, the forepaws resting
upon the ground in front of its body. Ugly as this position is, and
impossible as it might seem, it certainly is to be found in some of the
Lion sejant erect ajfronte (Fig. 294). This position is by no means
unusual in Scotland. A lion sejant erect and affronte, &c., is the Royal
crest of Scotland, and it will also be found in the arms of Lyon Office.
A good representation of the lion sejant affront^ and erect is shown
in Fig. 310, which is taken from Jost Amman's Wappen und Stammbuch
(1589). It represents the arms of the celebrated Lansquenet Captain
Sebastian Schartlin (Schertel) von Burtenbach ["Gules, a lion sejant