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existence outside heraldry books, where it is stated to be of similar form
and construction to the sea lion, the difference being that the lower half
is the body and tail of a wyvern. I know of no actual arms or crest in
which it figures.

[Illustration: FIG. 313. - Winged lion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 314. - Sea lion.]

[Illustration: FIG. 315. - Man-Lion.]

_Man-lion_ or _man-tiger_. - This is as a lion but with a human face. Two of
these are the supporters of Lord Huntingdon, and one was granted to the
late Lord Donington as a supporter, whilst as charges they also occur in
the arms of Radford. This semi-human animal is sometimes termed a "lympago"
(Fig. 315).

_Other terms relating to lions_ occur in many heraldic works - both old and
new - but their use is very limited, if indeed of some, any example at all
could be found in British armory. In addition to this, whilst the fact may
sometimes exist, the _term_ has never been adopted or officially
recognised. Personally I believe most of the terms which follow may for all
practical purposes be entirely disregarded. Amongst such terms are
_contourné_, applied to a lion passant or rampant to the sinister. It
would, however, be found blazoned in these words and not as contourné.
"Dismembered," "Demembré," "Dechaussée," and "Trononnée" are all
"heraldry-book" terms specified to mean the same as "couped in all its
joints," but the uselessness and uncertainty concerning these terms is
exemplified by the fact that the {187} same books state "dismembered" or
"demembré" to mean (when applied to a lion) that the animal is shown
without legs or tail. The term "embrued" is sometimes applied to a lion to
signify that its mouth is bloody and dropping blood; and "vulned" signifies
wounded, heraldically represented by a blotch of gules, from which drops of
blood are falling. A lion "disarmed" is without teeth, tongue, or claws.

A term often found in relation to lions rampant, but by no means peculiar
thereto, is "debruised." This is used when it is partly defaced by another
charge (usually an ordinary) being placed over it.

Another of these guide-book terms is "decollated," which is said to be
employed in the case of a lion which has its head cut off. A lion "defamed"
or "diffamed" is supposed to be rampant to the sinister but looking
backwards, the supposition being that the animal is being (against his
will) chased off the field with infamy. A lion "evire" is supposed to be
emasculated and without signs of sex. In this respect it is interesting to
note that in earlier days, before mock modesty and prudery had become such
prominent features of our national life, the genital organ was always
represented of a pronounced size in a prominent position, and it was as
much a matter of course to paint it gules as it now is to depict the tongue
of that colour. To prevent error I had better add that this is not now the
usual practice.

Lions placed back to back are termed "endorsed" or "addorsed," but when two
lions passant in pale are represented, one passing to the dexter and one to
the sinister, they are termed "counter-passant." This term is, however,
also used sometimes when they are merely passant towards each other. A more
correct description in such cases would be passant "respecting" or
"regarding" each other.

The term _lionné_ is one stated to be used with animals other than lions
when placed in a rampant position. Whilst doubtless of regular acceptation
in French heraldry as applied to a leopard, it is unknown in English, and
the term rampant is indifferently applied; _e.g._ in the case of a leopard,
wolf, or tiger when in the rampant position.

_Lionced_ is a term seldom met with, but it is said to be applied (for
example to a cross) when the arms end in lions' heads. I have yet to find
an authentic example of the use of such a cross.

When a bend or other ordinary issues from the mouths of lions (or other
animals), the heads issuing from the edges or angles of the escutcheon, the
ordinary is said to be "engouled."

A curious term, of the use of which I know only one example, is "fleshed"
or "flayed." This, as doubtless will be readily surmised, means that the
skin is removed, leaving the flesh gules. This was the method by which the
supporters of Wurtemburg were "differenced" for the Duke of Teck, the
forepaws being "fleshed." {188}

Woodward gives the following very curious instances of the lion in
heraldry: -

"Only a single example of the use of the lioness as a heraldic charge is
known to me. The family of COING, in Lorraine, bears: d'Azure, à une lionne
arrêtée d'or.

"The following fourteenth-century examples of the use of the lion as a
heraldic charge are taken from the oft-quoted _Wappenrolle von Zurich_, and
should be of interest to the student of early armory: -

* * * * *

"51: END: Azure, a lion rampant-guardant argent, its feet or.

"305. WILDENVELS: Per pale argent and sable, in the first a demi-lion
statant-guardant issuant from the dividing line.

"408. TANNENVELS: Azure, a lion rampant or, queué argent.

"489. RINACH: Or, a lion rampant gules, headed azure.

"A curious use of the lion as a charge occurs in several ancient coats of
the Low Countries, _e.g._ in that of TRASEGNIES, whose arms are: Bandé d'or
et d'azur, à l'ombre du lion brochant sur le tout, à la bordure engrêlée
d'or. Here the ombre du lion is properly represented by a darker shade of
the tincture (either of or or of azure), but often the artist contents
himself with simply drawing the outline of the animal in a neutral tint.

"Among other curiosities of the use of the lion are the following foreign
coats: -

"BOISSIAU, in France, bears: De gueules, semé de lions d'argent.

"MINUTOLI, of Naples: Gules, a lion rampant vair, the head and feet or.

"LOEN, of Holland: Azure, a decapitated lion rampant argent, three jets of
blood spurting from the neck proper.

"PAPACODA, of Naples: Sable, a lion rampant or, its tail turned over its
head and held by its teeth.

"The Counts REINACH, of Franconia: Or, a lion rampant gules, hooded and
masked azure (see above)."

To these instances the arms of Westbury may well be added, these being:
Quarterly, or and azure, a cross patonce, on a bordure twenty lions rampant
all counter-changed. No doubt the origin of such a curious bordure is to be
found in the "bordure of England," which, either as a mark of cadency or as
an indication of affinity or augmentation, can be found in some number of
instances. Probably one will suffice as an example. This is forthcoming in
Fig. 61, which shows the arms of John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond. Of a
similar nature is the bordure of Spain (indicative of his maternal descent)
borne by Richard of Conisburgh, Earl of Cambridge, who bore: Quarterly
France and England, a label of three points argent, each charged with {189}
as many torteaux, on a bordure of the same twelve lions rampant purpure
(Fig. 316).

[Illustration: FIG. 317. - Arms of Bohemia, from the "Pulver Turme" at
Prague. (Latter half of the fifteenth century.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 316. - Arms of Richard of Conisburgh, Earl of Cambridge.
(From MS. Cott., Julius C. vii.)]

Before leaving the lion, the hint may perhaps be usefully conveyed that the
temptation to over-elaborate the lion when depicting it heraldically should
be carefully avoided. The only result is confusion - the very contrary of
the essence of heraldic emblazonment, which was, is, and should be, the
method of clear advertisement of identity. Examples of over-elaboration
can, however, be found in the past, as will be seen from Fig. 317. This
example belongs to the latter half of the fifteenth century, and represents
the arms of Bohemia. It is taken from a shield on the "Pulver Turme" at

Parts of lions are very frequently to be met with, particularly as crests.
In fact the most common crest in existence is the _demi-lion rampant_ (Fig.
318). This is the upper half of a lion rampant. It is comparatively seldom
found other than rampant and couped, so that the term "a demi-lion," unless
otherwise qualified, may always be assumed to be a demi-lion rampant
couped. As charges upon the shield three will be found in the arms of
Bennet, Earl of Tankerville: "Gules, a bezant between three demi-lions
rampant argent."

The demi-lion may be both guardant and regardant.

_Demi-lions rampant and erased_ are more common as charges than as crests.
They are to be found in several Harrison coats of arms.

[Illustration: FIG. 318. - A demi-lion rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 319. - A demi-lion passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 320. - A lion's head couped.]

_Demi-lions passant_ (Fig. 319) are rather unusual, but in addition to the
seeming cases in which they occur by dimidiation they are sometimes found,
as in the case of the arms of Newman. {190}

_Demi-lion affronté._ - The only case which has come under notice would
appear to be the crest of Campbell of Aberuchill.

_Demi-lion issuant._ - This term is applied to a demi-lion when it issues
from an ordinary, _e.g._ from the base line of the chief, as in the arms of
Dormer, Markham, and Abney; or from behind a fesse, as in the arms of

_Demi-lion naissant_ issues from the centre of an ordinary, and not from
behind it.

_Lions' heads_, both couped (Fig. 320) and erased, are very frequently met
with both as charges on the shield and as crests.

[Illustration: FIG. 321. - A lion's face.]

_Lion's gamb._ - Many writers make a distinction between the _gamb_ (which
is stated to be the lower part only, couped or erased half-way up the leg)
and the _paw_, but this distinction cannot be said to be always rigidly
observed. In fact some authorities quote the exact reverse as the
definition of the terms. As charges the gamb or paw will be found to occur
in the arms of Lord Lilford ["Or, a lion's gamb erased in bend dexter
between two crosslets fitchée in bend sinister gules"], and in the arms of
Newdigate. This last is a curious example, inasmuch as, without being so
specified in the blazon, the gambs are represented in the position occupied
by the sinister foreleg of a lion passant.

The crest upon the Garter Plate of Edward Cherleton, Lord Cherleton of
Powis, must surely be unique. It consists of two lions' paws embowed, the
outer edge of each being adorned with fleurs-de-lis issuant therefrom.

_A lion's tail_ will sometimes be found as a crest, and it also occurs as a
charge in the arms of Corke, viz.: "Sable, three lions' tails erect and
erased argent."

_A lion's face_ (Fig. 321) should be carefully distinguished from a lion's
head. In the latter case the neck, either couped or erased, must be shown;
but a lion's face is affronté and cut off closely behind the ears. The
distinction between the head and the face can be more appropriately
considered in the case of the leopard. {191}



Next after the lion should be considered the tiger, but it must be
distinctly borne in mind that heraldry knows two kinds of tigers - the
heraldic tiger (Figs. 322 and 323) and the Bengal tiger (Figs. 324 and
325). Doubtless the heraldic tiger, which was the only one found in British
armory until a comparatively recent date, is the attempt of artists to
depict their idea of a tiger. The animal was unknown to them, except by
repute, and consequently the creature they depicted bears little relation
to the animal of real life; but there can be no doubt that their intention
was to depict an animal which they knew to exist. The heraldic tiger had a
body much like the natural tiger, it had a lion's tufted tail and mane, and
the curious head which it is so difficult to describe, but which appears to
be more like the wolf than any other animal we know. This, however, will be
again dealt with in the chapter on fictitious animals, and is here only
introduced to demonstrate the difference which heraldry makes between the
heraldic tiger and the real animal. A curious conceit is that the heraldic
tiger will anciently be often found spelt "tyger," but this peculiar
spelling does not seem ever to have been applied to the tiger of nature.

[Illustration: FIG. 322. - Heraldic tyger rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 323. - Heraldic tyger passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 324. - Bengal tiger passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 325. - Bengal tiger rampant.]


When it became desirable to introduce the real tiger into British armory as
typical of India and our Eastern Empire, something of course was necessary
to distinguish it from the tyger which had previously usurped the name in
armory, and for this reason the natural tiger is always heraldically known
as the Bengal tiger. This armorial variety appears towards the end of the
eighteenth century in this country, though in foreign heraldry it appears
to have been recognised somewhat earlier. There are, however, but few cases
in which the Bengal tiger has appeared in armory, and in the majority of
these cases as a supporter, as in the supporters of Outram, which are two
tigers rampant guardant gorged with wreaths of laurel and crowned with
Eastern crowns all proper. Another instance of the tiger as a supporter
will be found in the arms of Bombay. An instance in which it appears as a
charge upon a shield will be found in the arms granted to the University of

[Illustration: FIG. 326. - Leopard passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 327. - Leopard passant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 328. - Leopard rampant.]

Another coat is that granted in 1874 to Augustus Beaty Bradbury of
Edinburgh, which was: "Argent, on a mount in base vert, a Bengal tiger
passant proper, on a chief of the second two other tigers dormant also
proper." A _tigress_ is said to be occasionally met with, and when so, is
sometimes represented with a mirror, in relation to the legend that
ascribes to her such personal vanity that her young ones might be taken
from under her charge if she had the counter attraction of a hand-glass! At
least so say the heraldry books, but I have not yet come across such a

The leopard (Figs. 326, 327, and 328) has to a certain extent been referred
to already. Doubtless it is the peculiar cat-like and stealthy walk which
is so characteristic of the leopard which led to any animal in that
position being considered a leopard; but the leopard in its natural state
was of course known to Europeans in the early days of heraldry, and appears
amongst the lists of heraldic animals apart from its existence as "a lion
passant." The animal, {193} however, except as a supporter or crest, is by
no means common in English heraldry. It will be found, however, in the
crests of some number of families; for example, Taylor and Potts.

[Illustration: FIG. 329. - Leopard's head erased.]

[Illustration: FIG. 330. - Leopard's head erased and affronté.]

[Illustration: FIG. 331. - Leopard's face.]

[Illustration: FIG. 332. - Leopard's face jessant-de-lis.]

A very similar animal is the ounce, which for heraldic purposes is in no
way altered from the leopard. Parts of the latter will be found in use as
in the case of the lion. As a crest the demi-leopard, the leopard's head
(Fig. 329), and the leopard's head affronté (Fig. 330) are often to be met
with. In both cases it should be noticed that _the neck is visible_, and
this should be borne in mind, because this constitutes the difference
between the leopard's head and the leopard's face (Fig. 331). The leopard's
face is by far the most usual form in which the leopard will be found in
armory, and can be traced back to quite an early period in heraldry. The
leopard's face shows no neck at all, the head being removed close behind
the ears. It is then represented affronté. For some unfathomable reason
these charges when they occur in the arms of Shrewsbury are usually
referred to locally as "loggerheads." They were perpetuated in the arms of
the county in its recent grant. A curious development or use of the
leopard's face occurs when it is jessant-de-lis (Fig. 332). This will be
found referred to at greater length under the heading of the Fleur-de-lis.


[Illustration: FIG. 333. - Arms of Styria. (Drawn by Hans Burgkmair, 1523.)]

The _panther_ is an animal which in its relation to heraldry it is
difficult to know whether to place amongst the mythical or actual animals.
No instance occurs to me in which the panther figures as a charge in
British heraldry, and the panther as a supporter, in the few cases in which
it is met with, is certainly not the actual animal, inasmuch as it is
invariably found flammant, _i.e._ with flames issuing from the mouth and
ears. In this character it will be found as a supporter of the Duke of
Beaufort, and derived therefrom as a supporter of Lord Raglan. Foreign
heraldry carries the panther to a most curious result. It is frequently
represented with the tail of a lion, horns, and for its fore-legs the claws
of an eagle. Even in England it is usually represented vomiting flames, but
the usual method of depicting it on the Continent is greatly at variance
with our own. Fig. 333 represents the same arms of Styria - Vert, a panther
argent, armed close, vomiting flames of fire - from the title-page of the
_Land-bond_ of Styria in the year 1523, drawn by Hans Burgkmair. In
_Physiologus_, a Greek writing {195} of early Christian times of about the
date 140, which in the course of time has been translated into every
tongue, mention is made of the panther, to which is there ascribed the
gaily spotted coat and the pleasant, sweet-smelling breath which induces
all other animals to approach it; the dragon alone retreats into its hole
from the smell, and consequently the panther appears to have sometimes been
used as a symbol of Christ. The earliest armorial representations of this
animal show the form not greatly dissimilar to nature; but very soon the
similarity disappears in Continental representations, and the fancy of the
artist transferred the animal into the fabulous creature which is now
represented. The sweet-smelling breath, _suozzon-stanch_ as it is called in
the early German translation of the _Physiologus_, was expressed by the
flames issuing from the mouth, but later in the sixteenth century flames
issued from every opening in the head. The head was in old times similar to
that of a horse, occasionally horned (as in the seal of Count Heinrich von
Lechsgemünd, 1197); the fore-feet were well developed. In the second half
of the fourteenth century the fore-feet assume the character of eagles'
claws, and the horns of the animal were a settled matter. In the
neighbourhood of Lake Constance we find the panther with divided hoofs on
his hind-feet; perhaps with a reference to the panther's "cleanness."
According to the Mosaic law, of course, a four-footed animal, to be
considered clean, must not have paws, and a ruminant must not have an
undivided hoof. Italian heraldry is likewise acquainted with the panther,
but under another name (_La Dolce_, the sweet one) and another form. The
dolce has a head like a hare, and is unhorned. (See A. Anthony v.
Siegenfeld, "The Territorial Arms of Styria," Graz, 1898.)

The panther is given by Segar, Garter King of Arms 1603-1663, as one of the
badges of King Henry VI., where it is silver, spotted of various colours,
and with flames issuing from its mouth and ears. No doubt this Royal badge
is the origin of the supporter of the Duke of Beaufort.

English armory knows an animal which it terms the male griffin, which has
no wings, but which has gold rays issuing from its body in all directions.
Ströhl terms the badge of the Earls of Ormonde, which from his description
are plainly male griffins, _keythongs_, which he classes with the panther;
and probably he is correct in looking upon our male griffin as merely one
form of the heraldic panther.

The _cat_, under the name of the cat, the wild cat, the cat-a-mountain, or
the cat-a-mount (Figs. 334, 335, and 336), is by no means infrequent in
British armory, though it will usually be found in Scottish or Irish
examples. The arms of Keates and Scott-Gatty in which it figures are
English examples, however. {196}

The wolf (Figs. 337-341) is a very frequent charge in English armory. Apart
from its use as a supporter, in which position it is found in conjunction
with the shields of Lord Welby, Lord Rendell, and Viscount Wolseley, it
will be found in the arms of Lovett and in by far the larger proportion of
the coats for the name of Wilson and in the arms of Low.

[Illustration: FIG. 334. - Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 335. - Cat-a-mountain sejant guardant erect.]

[Illustration: FIG. 336. - Cat-a-mountain passant guardant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 337. - Wolf rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 338. - Wolf salient.]

[Illustration: FIG. 339. - Wolf courant.]

The wolf, however, in earlier representations has a less distinctly
wolf-like character, it being sometimes difficult to distinguish the wolf
from some other heraldic animals. This is one of these cases in which,
owing to insufficient knowledge and crude draughtsmanship, ancient heraldry
is not to be preferred to more realistic treatment. The demi-wolf is a very
frequent crest, occurring not only in the arms and crests of members of the
Wilson and many other families, but also as the crest of Wolfe. The latter
crest is worthy of remark, inasmuch as the Royal crown which is held within
its paws typifies the assistance given to King Charles II., after the
battle of Worcester, by Mr. Francis Wolfe of Madeley, to whom the crest was
granted. King Charles, it may be noted, also gave to Mr. Wolfe a silver
tankard, upon the lid of which was a representation of this crest. Wolves'
heads are particularly common, especially in Scottish heraldry. An example
of them will be found in the arms of {197} "Struan" Robertson, and in the
coats used by all other members of the Robertson Clan having or claiming
descent from, or relationship with, the house of Struan. The wolf's head
also appears in the arms of Skeen. Woodward states that the wolf is the
most common of all heraldic animals in Spanish heraldry, where it is
frequently represented as _ravissant, i.e._ carrying the body of a lamb in
its mouth or across its back.

[Illustration: FIG. 340. - Wolf passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 341. - Wolf statant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 342. - A lynx coward.]

[Illustration: FIG. 343. - Fox passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 344. - Fox sejant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 345. - A fox's mask.]

Much akin to the wolf is the _Lynx_; in fact the heraldic representation of
the two animals is not greatly different. The lynx does not often occur in
heraldry except as a supporter, but it will be found as the crest of the
family of Lynch. The lynx is nearly always depicted and blazoned "coward,"
_i.e._ with its tail between its legs (Fig. 342). Another instance of this
particular animal is found in the crest of Comber.

A _Fox_ (Figs. 343 and 344) which from the similarity of its representation
is often confused with a wolf, is said by Woodward to be very seldom met
with in British heraldry. This is hardly a correct statement, inasmuch as
countless instances can be produced in which a fox figures as a charge, a
crest, or a supporter. The fox is found on the arms and as the crest, and
two are the supporters of Lord Ilchester, and instances of its appearance
will be found amongst others in the arms {198} or crests, for example, of
Fox, Colfox, and Ashworth. Probably the most curious example of the
heraldic fox will be found in the arms of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who for
the arms of Williams quarters: "Argent, two foxes counter-salient gules,
the dexter surmounted of the sinister." The face of a fox is termed its
mask (Fig. 345).

_The Bear_ (Figs. 346-349) is frequently found figuring largely in coats of
arms for the names of Barnard, Baring, Barnes, and Bearsley, and for other
names which can be considered to bear canting relation to the charge. In
fact the arms, crest, and motto of Barnard together form such an excellent
example of the little jokes which characterise heraldry that I quote the
blazon in full. The coat is "argent, a bear rampant sable," the crest is "a
demi-bear sable," and the motto "Bear and forbear."

[Illustration: FIG. 346. - Bear rampant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 347. - Bear passant.]

[Illustration: FIG. 348. - Bear statant.]

The bear is generally muzzled, but this must not be presumed unless
mentioned in the blazon. Bears' paws are often found both in crests and as
charges upon shields, but as they differ little if anything in appearance

Online LibraryArthur Charles Fox-DaviesA complete guide to heraldry → online text (page 18 of 66)