sented in the natural form of the animal, and subject to the foregoing
Heraldic Antelope. This animal (Figs. 391, 392, and 393) is found
in English heraldry more frequently as a supporter than as a charge.
As an instance, however, of the latter form may be mentioned the
family of Dighton (Lincolnshire) : " Per pale argent and gules, an her-
aldic antelope passant counterchanged." It bears little if any relation
to the real animal, though there can be but small doubt that the earliest
forms originated in an attempt to represent an antelope or an ibex.
Since, however, heraldry has found a use for the real antelope, it has
FiG. 391. Heraldic
FIG. 392. The heraldic
FIG. 393. Heraldic
been necessary to distinguish it from the creations of the early armorists,
which are now known as heraldic antelopes. Examples will be found
in the supporters - of Lord Carew, in the crest of Moresby, and of
The difference chiefly consists in the curious head and horns and
in the tail, the heraldic antelope being an heraldic tiger, with the feet
and legs similar to those of a deer, and with two straight serrated
Ibex. This is another form of the natural antelope, but with two
saw-edged horns projecting from the forehead.
A curious animal, namely, the sea-stag, is often met with in
German heraldry. This is the head, antlers, fore-legs, and the upper
part of the body of a stag conjoined to the fish-tail end of a mermaid.
The only instance I am aware of in which it occurs in British armory
is the case of the arms of Marindin, which were recently matriculated
in Lyon Register (Fig. 394). This coat, however, it should be ob-
served, is really of German or perhaps of Swiss origin.
THE RAM AND GOAT
The ram (Figs. 395 and 396), the consideration of which must of
necessity include the sheep (Fig. 397), the Paschal lamb (Fig. 398),
and the fleece (Fig. 399), plays
no unimportant part in armory.
The chief heraldic difference
between the ram and the sheep,
to some extent, in opposition
to the agricultural distinctions,
lies in the fact that the ram is
always represented with horns
and the sheep without. The
lamb and the ram are always
represented with the natural
tail, but the sheep is deprived
of it. A ram can of course
be " armed " (i.e. with the horns
of a different colour) and " un-
guled," but the latter will seldom
be found to be the case. The
ram, the sheep, and the lamb
will nearly always be found
either passant or statant, but
a demi-ram is naturally repre-
sented in a rampant posture,
though in such a case the word
" rampant " is not necessary in
Occasionally, as in the
crest of Marwood, the ram
will be found couchant. As a charge upon a shield the ram will
be found in the arms of Sydenham [" Argent, three rams passant
sable "], and a ram couchant occurs in the arms of Pujolas (granted
1762) ["Per fess wavy azure and argent, in base on a mount vert,
a ram couchant sable, armed and unguled or, in chief three doves
proper "]. The arms of Ramsey [" Azure, a chevron between three
FIG. 394. Armorial bearings of Marindin.
212 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
rams passant or "] and the arms of Harman [" Sable, a chevron
between six rams counter-passant two and two argent, armed and
FIG. 395. Ram statant. FIG. 396. Ram rampant. FIG. 397. Sheep passant.
unguled or "] are other instances in which rams occur. A sheep
occurs in the arms of Sheepshanks [" Azure, a chevron erminois
FIG. 398. Paschal lamb.
FIG. 399. Fleece.
FIG. 400. Ram's head caboshed.
between in chief three roses and in base a sheep passant argent.
Crest : on a mount vert, a sheep passant argent "].
FIG. 401. Goat passant.
FlG. 402. Goat rampant.
FIG. 403. Goat salient.
The lamb, which is by no means an unusual charge in Welsh coats
of arms, is most usually found in the form of a " paschal lamb "
(Fig. 398), or some variation evidently founded thereupon.
The fleece of course originally of great repute as the badge of
the Order of the Golden Fleece has in recent years been frequently
employed in the grants of arms to towns or individuals connected with
the woollen industry.
The demi-ram and the demi-lamb are to be found as crests, but far
more usual are rams' heads, which figure, for example, in the arms of
Ramsden, and in the arms of the towns of Huddersfield, and Barrow-
in-Furness. The ram's head will sometimes be found caboshed, as in
the arms of Ritchie and Roberts.
Perhaps here reference may fittingly be made to the arms granted
by Lyon Office in 1812 to Thomas Bonar, co. Kent [" Argent, a
saltire and chief azure, the last charged with a dexter hand proper,
vested with a shirt-sleeve argent, issuing from the dexter chief point,
holding a shoulder of mutton proper to a lion passant or, all within
a bordure gules "].
The Goat (Figs. 401403) is very frequently met with in armory.
Its positions are passant, statant, rampant, and salient. When the
horns are of a different colour it is said to be " armed."
The Elephant is by no means unusual in heraldry, appearing as a
crest, as a charge, and also as a supporter. Nor, strange to say, is its
appearance exclusively modern. The elephant's head, however, is much
more frequently met with than the entire animal. Heraldry generally
finds some way of stereotyping one of its creations as peculiarly its
own, and in regard to the elephant, the curious " elephant and castle "
(Fig. 404) is an example, this latter object being, of course, simply a
derivative of the howdah of Indian life. Few
early examples of the elephant omit the castle.
The elephant and castle is seen in the arms of
Dumbarton and in the crest of Corbet.
A curious practice, the result of pure ignor-
ance, has manifested itself in British armory. As
will be explained in the chapter upon crests, a
large proportion of German crests are derivatives
of the stock basis of two bull's horns, which formed
a recognised ornament for a helmet in Viking
and other pre-heraldic days. As heraldry found
its footing it did not in Germany displace those
horns, which in many cases continued alone as the crest or remained
as a part of it in the form of additions to other objects. The craze
for decoration at an early period seized upon the horns, which carried
repetitions of the arms or their tinctures. As time went on the decora-
214 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
tion was carried further, and the horns were made with bell-shaped
open ends to receive other objects, usually bunches of feathers or
flowers. So universal did this custom become that even when nothing
was inserted the horns came to be always depicted with these open
mouths at their points. But German heraldry now, as has always
been the case, simply terms the figures " horns." In course of time
German immigrants made application for grants of arms in this country,
which, doubtless, were based upon other German arms previously in
use, but which, evidence of right not being forthcoming, could not be
recorded as borne of right, and needed to be granted with alteration
as a new coat. The curious result has been that these horns have
been incorporated in some number of English grants, but they
have universally been described as elephants' proboscides, and are
FIG. 405. Hare salient.
FIG. 406. Coney.
FlG. 407. Squirrel.
now always so represented in this country. A case in point is the
crest of Verelst, and another is the crest of Allhusen.
Elephants' tusks have also been introduced into grants, as in the
arms of Liebreich (borne in pretence by Cock) and Randies [" Or, a
chevron wavy azure between three pairs of elephants' tusks in saltire
The Hare (Fig. 405) is but rarely met with in British armory. It
appears in the arms of Cleland, and also in the crest of Shakerley, Bart.
[ A hare proper resting her forefeet on a grab or "]. A very curious
coat [" Argent, three hares playing bagpipes gules"] belongs to an ancient
Derbyshire family FitzErcald, now represented (through the Sacheverell
family) by Coke of Trussley, who quarter the FitzErcald shield.
The Rabbit (Fig. 406), or, as it is more frequently termed heraldic-
ally, the Coney, appears more frequently in heraldry than the hare,
being the canting charge on the arms of Coningsby, Cunliffe [" Sable,
three conies courant argent "], and figuring also as the supporters of
Montgomery Cunningham [" Two conies proper "].
The Squirrel (Fig. 407) occurs in many English coats of arms. It
is always sejant, and very frequently cracking a nut.
The Ape is not often met with, except in the cases of the different
families of the great Fitz Gerald clan. It is usually the crest, though
the Duke of Leinster also has apes as supporters. One family of
Fitzgerald, however, bear it as a charge upon the shield [" Gules,
a saltire invected per pale argent and or, between four monkeys
statant of the second, environed with a plain collar and chained
of the second. Mantling gules and argent. Crest : on a wreath
of the colours, a monkey as in the arms, charged on the body
with two roses, and resting the dexter fore-leg on a saltire gules.
Motto : < Crom-a-boo ' "], and the family of Yorke bear an ape's head
for a crest.
The ape is usually met with " collared and chained " (Fig. 408),
though, unlike any other animal, the collar of an ape environs its loins
FIG. 408. Ape collared
FIG. 409. Brock.
FIG. 410. Otter.
and not its neck. A winged ape is included in Elvin's " Dictionary
of Heraldry " as a heraldic animal, but I am not aware to whom it is
The Brock or Badger (Fig. 409) figures in some number of English
arms. It is most frequently met with as the crest of Brooke, but will
be also found in the arms or crests of Brocklebank and Motion.
The Otter (Fig. 410) is not often met with except in Scottish
coats, but an English example is that of Sir George Newnes, and
a demi-otter issuant from a fess wavy will be found quartered by
Seton of Mounie.
An otter's head, sometimes called a seal's head, for it is impossible
to distinguish the heraldic representations of the one or the other,
appears in many coats of arms of different families of the name of
Balfour, and two otters are the supporters belonging to the head of
the Scottish house of Balfour.
The Ermine, the Stoat, and the Weasel, &c., are not very often met
with, but the ermine appears as the crest of Crawford and the marten
as the crest of a family of that name.
2i6 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
The Hedgehog, or, as it is usually heraldically termed, the Urcheon
(Fig. 411), occurs in some number of coats. For example, in the
arms of Maxwell ["Argent, an eagle with two heads displayed sable,
beaked and membered gules, on the breast an escutcheon of the first,
charged with a saltire of the second, surcharged in
the centre with a hurcheon (hedgehog) or, all
within a bordure gules "], Harris, and as the crest
The Beaver has been introduced into, many
coats of late years for those connected in any way
with Canada. It figures in the arms of Lord
Strathcona and Mount Royal, and in the arms of
The beaver is one of the supporters of the city
FIG. 411. Urcheon. . ^ , . . . ,. 11 ,1 r
of Oxford, and is the sole charge in the arms of
the town of Biberach (Fig. 412). Originally the arms were:
"Argent, a beaver azure, crowned and armed gules," but the
arms authorised by the Emperor Frederick IV., i8th July 1848,
were : " Azure, a beaver or."
It is quite impossible, or at any rate very unnecessary, to turn
a work on armory into an Illustrated Guide to Natural History,
which would be the result if under the de-
scription of heraldic charges the attempt were
made to deal with all the various animals
which have by now been brought to the ar-
morial fold, owing to the inclusion of each for
special and sufficient reasons in one or two
Far be it from me, however, to make any
remark which should seem to indicate the raising
of any objection to such use. In my opinion
it is highly admirable, providing there is some
definite reason in each case for the introduction FIG. 412. Arms of the
of these strange animals other than mere caprice.
They add to the interest of heraldry, and they give
to modern arms and armory a definite status
and meaning, which is a relief from the endless
monotony of meaningless lions, bends, chevrons, mullets, and martlets.
But at the same time the isolated use in a modern grant of such an
animal as the kangaroo does not make it one of the peculiarly heraldic
menagerie, and consequently such instances must be dismissed herein
with brief mention, particularly as many of these creatures heraldically
exist only as supporters, in which chapter some are more fully dis-
town of Biberach.
(From Ulrich Reichen-
thal's Concilium von
cussed. Save as a supporter, the only instances I know of the
Kangaroo are in the coat of Moore and in the arms of Arthur, Bart.
The Zebra will be found as the crest of Kemsley.
The Camel, which will be dealt with later as a supporter, in which
form it appears in the arms of Viscount Kitchener, the town of
Inverness (Fig. 251), and some of the Livery
Companies, also figures in the reputed but un-
recorded arms of Camelford, and in the arms of
Cammell of Sheffield and various other families
of a similar name.
The fretful Porcupine was borne ["Gules, a
porcupine erect argent, tusked, collared, and
chained or "] by Simon Eyre, Lord Mayor of
London in 1445 : and the creature also figures
as one of the supporters and the crest of Sidney,
T j T>I T i FIG. 413. Bat.
Lord De Lisle and Dudley.
The Bat (Fig. 413) will be found in the arms of Heyworth and
as the crest of a Dublin family named Wakefield.
The Tortoise occurs in the arms of a Norfolk family named Gandy,
and is also stated by Papworth to occur in the arms of a Scottish
family named Goldie. This coat, however, is not matriculated. It
also occurs in the crests of Deane and Hayne.
The Springbok, which is one of the supporters of Cape Colony,
and two of which are the supporters of Viscount Milner, is also the
crest of Randies [" On a wreath of the colours, a springbok or South
African antelope statant in front of an assegai erect all proper "].
The Rhinoceros occurs as one of the supporters of Viscount Colville
of Culross, and also of the crest of Wade, and the Hippopotamus is
one of the supporters of Speke.
The Crocodile, which is the crest and one of the supporters of Speke,
is also the crest of Westcar ["A crocodile proper, collared and
The Alpaca, and also two Angora Goats heads figure in the arms of
The Rat occurs in the arms of Ratton, 1 which is a peculiarly good
example of a canting coat.
The Mole, sometimes termed a moldiwarp, occurs in the arms of
Mitford [" Argent, a fess sable between three moles displayed sable "].
1 Armorial bearings of James Joseph Louis Ratton, Esq. : Azure, in base the sea argent, and
thereon a tunny sable, on a chief of the second a rat passant of the third. Upon the escutcheon
is placed a helmet befitting his degree, with a mantling azure and argent ; and for his crest,
upon a wreath of the colours, an ibex statant guardant proper, charged on the body with two
fleurs-de-lis fesswise azure, and resting the dexter foreleg on a shield argent charged with a passion
cross sable. Motto: "In Deo spero."
THE heraldic catalogue of beasts runs riot when we reach those
mythical or legendary creatures which can only be summarised
under the generic term of monsters. Most mythical animals,
however, can be traced back to some comparable counterpart in
The fauna of the New World was of course unknown to those
early heraldic artists in whose knowledge and imagination, no less
than in their skill (or lack of it) in draughtsmanship, lay the
nativity of so much of our heraldry. They certainly thought they
were representing animals in existence in most if not in all cases,
though one gathers that they considered many of the animals they
used to be misbegotten hybrids. Doubtless, working on the assump-
tion of the mule as the hybrid of the horse and the ass, they jumped
to the conclusion that animals which contained salient characteristics
of two other animals which they, knew were likewise hybrids. A
striking example of their theories is to be found in the heraldic Camelo-
pardj which was anciently devoutly believed to be begotten by the
leopard upon the camel. A leopard they would be familiar with, also
the camel, for both belong to that corner of the world where the
north-east of the African Continent, the south-east of Europe, and
the west of Asia join, where were fought out the wars of the Cross,
and where heraldry took on itself a definite being. There the known
civilisations of the world met, taking one from the other knowledge,
more or less distorted, ideas and wild imaginings. A stray giraffe
was probably seen by some journeyer up the Nile, who, unable to
otherwise account for it, considered and stated the animal to be the
hybrid offspring of the leopard and camel. Another point needs to
be borne in mind. Earlier artists were in no way fettered by any
supposed necessity for making their pictures realistic representations.
Realism is a modernity. Their pictures were decoration, and they
thought far more of making their subject fit the space to be decorated
than of making it a " speaking likeness."
Nevertheless, their work was not all imagination. In the Crocodile
we get the basis of the dragon, if indeed the heraldic dragon be not a
perpetuation of ancient legends, or even perhaps of then existing repre-
sentations of those winged antediluvian animals, the fossilised remains
of which are now available. Wings, however, need never be con-
sidered a difficulty. It has ever been the custom (from the angels of
Christianity to the personalities of Mercury and Pegasus) to add wings
to any figure held in veneration. Why, it would be difficult to say,
but nevertheless the fact remains.
The Unicorn, however, it is not easy to resolve into an original basis,
because until the seventeenth century every one fondly believed in the
existence of the animal. Mr. Beckles Wilson appears to have paid
considerable attention to the subject, and was responsible for the
article " The Rise of the Unicorn " which recently appeared in Cassell's
Magazine. That writer traces the matter to a certain extent from non-
heraldic sources, and the following remarks, which are taken from the
above article, are of considerable interest :
" The real genesis of the unicorn was probably this : at a time
when armorial bearings were becoming an indispensable part of a
noble's equipment, the attention of those knights who were fighting
under the banner of the Cross was attracted to the wild antelopes of
Syria and Palestine. These animals are armed with long, straight,
spiral horns set close together, so that at a side view they appeared to
be but a single horn. To confirm this, there are some old illuminations
and drawings extant which endow the early unicorn with many of the
attributes of the deer and goat kind. The sort of horn supposed to be
carried by these Eastern antelopes had long been a curiosity, and was
occasionally brought back as a trophy by travellers from the remote
parts of the earth. There is a fine one to be seen to-day at the abbey
of St. Denis, and others in various collections in Europe. We now
know these so-called unicorn's horns, usually carved, to belong to
that marine monster the narwhal, or sea-unicorn. But the fable of a
breed of horned horses is at least as old as Pliny " [Had the " gnu "
anything to do with this ? ], " and centuries later the Crusaders, or the
monkish artists who accompanied them, attempted to delineate the
marvel. From their first rude sketches other artists copied ; and so
each presentment was passed along, until at length the present form
of the unicorn was attained. There was a time not so long ago
when the existence of the unicorn was as implicitly believed in as the
camel or any other animal not seen in these latitudes ; and the trans-
lators of the Bible set their seal upon the legend by translating the
Hebrew word reem (which probably meant a rhinoceros) as ' unicorn/
Thus the worthy Thomas Fuller came to consider the existence of the
unicorn clearly proved by the mention of it in Scripture ! Describing
220 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO HERALDRY
the horn of the animal, he writes, < Some are plain, as that of St.
Mark's in Venice ; others wreathed about it, which probably is the effect
of age, those wreaths being but the wrinkles of most vivacious unicorns.
The same may be said of the colour : white when newly taken from
the head ; yellow, like that lately in the Tower, of some hundred years'
seniority ; but whether or no it will soon turn black, as that of Plinie's
description, let others decide/
"All the books on natural history so late as the seventeenth
century describe at length the unicorn ; several of them carefully
depict him as though the artist had drawn straight from the life.
" If art had stopped here, the wonder of the unicorn would have
remained but a paltry thing after all. His finer qualities would have
been unrecorded, and all his virtues hidden. But, happily, instead of
this, about the animal first conceived in the brain of a Greek (as
Pegasus also was), and embodied through the fertile fancy of the
Crusader, the monks and heraldists of the Middle Ages devised a host
of spiritual legends. They told of his pride, his purity, his endurance,
his matchless spirit.
" ' The greatnesse of his mynde is such that he chooseth rather to
dye than be taken alive/ Indeed, he was only conquerable by a
beautiful maiden. One fifteenth-century writer gives a recipe for
catching a unicorn. ' A maid is set where he hunteth ; and she
openeth her lap, to whom the unicorn, as seeking rescue from the force
of the hunter, yieldeth his head and leaveth all his fierceness, and
resteth himself under her protection, sleepeth until he is taken and
slain/ But although many were reported to be thus enticed to their
destruction, only their horns, strange to say, ever reached Europe.
There is one in King Edward's collection at Buckingham Palace.
" Naturally, the horn of such an animal was held a sovereign
specific against poison, and < ground unicorn's horn ' often figures in
mediaeval books of medicine.
" There was in Shakespeare's time at Windsor Castle the ' horn of
a unicorn of above eight spans and a half in length, valued at above
;io,ooo/ This may have been the one now at Buckingham Palace.
One writer, describing it, says :
11 1 1 doe also know that horn the King of England possesseth to be
wreathed in spires, even as that is accounted in the Church of St.
Dennis, than which they suppose none greater in the world, and I
never saw anything in any creature more worthy praise than this
home. It is of soe great a length that the tallest man can scarcely
touch the top thereof, for it doth fully equal seven great feet. It
weigheth thirteen pounds, with their assize, being only weighed by
the gesse of the hands it seemeth much heavier/
" Spenser, in the ' Faerie Queen/ thus describes a contest between
the unicorn and the lion :
' Like as the lyon, whose imperial powre
A proud rebellious unicorn defyes,
T'avoide the rash assault and wrathful stowre
Of his fiers foe, him to a tree applies.
And when him running in full course he spyes
He slips aside ; the whiles that furious beast .
His precious home, sought of his enimyes,
Strikes in the stroke, ne thence can be released,
But to the victor yields a bounteous feast.'
"'It hath/ remarked Guillim, in 1600, 'been much questioned
among naturalists which it is that is properly called the unicorn ; and
some have made doubt whether there be such a beast or no. But the
FIG. 414. Unicorn rampant. FIG. 415. Unicorn passant. FIG. 416. Unicorn statant.
great esteem of his horn in many places to be seen may take away that
" Another old writer, Topsell, says :
" ' These beasts are very swift, and their legs have not articles.
They keep for the most part in the deserts, and live solitary in the tops
of the mountaines. There was nothing more horrible than the voice