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science may be mastered in a of that family, with proper month or two, and when it is marks of cadency and differacquired, there is nothing more ence, or brisures, variation in to learn. The student has added the crest has always been to his store a certain quantity readily sanctioned. For exof exact knowledge, which, in- ample, every branch of the deed, may not prove of the great family of Stewart or slightest service to him in the Stuart displays as the chief battle of life, but may be the figure in its arms the blue and source of considerable pleasure white fess chequy, indicating and information to him in the common descent from Alap slack intervals of fighting. Just dapifer, Great Steward of Scotas no hillside or river bank is land. This well-known bearing dreary to anybody possessed of dates from early in the thirmore than a smattering of bot. teenth century, and is supposed any, and just as every railway to represent the official belt of cuttingorgravel-pit has its story the Great Steward, the chequers for him who knows something thereon signifying the chessof stratigraphic geology, so he board upon which primitive who has stuffed heraldry into a Treasury officials kept their spare corner of his knowledge accounts. In fact, our modern box may stroll down Piccadilly term “Exchequer” simply reand derive more amusement presents the old French esfrom the panels of carriages chequier, a chess-board. than from the shop windows. The Stowarts, therefore,
Even should one not care to wheresoever they ride, may “take up” heraldry seriously, be known by the blue and he might easily acquire such a white chequers on the golden general acquaintance with its field; but the animal kingpurpose and practice as would dom has been heavily taxed enable him to avoid that mis- to supply them with crests. application of terms which is Lions, wyverns, unicorns, doves, one of the results of prolonged pelicans, eagles, human beings neglect of the craft. For in- - there is no end to the stance, he must disabuse his variety. The importance which mind of the vulgar employment is commonly attributed to the of the term “crest” to signify crest is wholly misapplied ; a coat of arms. The escutcheon indeed, heraldry had reached or shield, whereon the arms are its zenith before crests had been displayed, is something sacred thought of in England and in a sense that never applied to Scotland. In the thirteenth the crest or supporters, which century knights bore no device of old were frequently changed upon their peaked helmets or according to the fancy of the flat-topped steel caps. If we bearer. Moreover, while mem- may believe Barbour, crested bers or branches of a common helmets and cannon made their family were restricted scrup- first appearance in the same ulously to the use of the arms campaign — that of Weardale — when Douglas and Moray heriting property, or acquiring invaded England in 1327 :- it by marriage, he is under no
obligation to take the crest “ Twa novelryis that day tha saw That forouth in Scotland had been nane;
also. Crests are not real arTymbris for helmis was the tane, morial bearings : like supportThat tham thocht than of gret beaute ers, they are merely exterior And alsua wondir for to se.
ornaments of the escutcheon, The tothir crakis war of wer, That tha befor herd nevir er.
and to call upon any body to Of thir tua thingis tha had ferly."1 carry two crests is as un
reasonable as to force him to Which, put into modern lingo, wear two hats. reads :
Supporters are another form • Two novelties they saw that day of exterior ornament which Which hitherto had not been in Scot- (eme into general use at a land;
later date than crests, and have Timbres (crests] for helmets was the acquired in popular estimation
one, Which they thought then of great a degree of respect which is beauty
due to the escutcheon alone. And also wonderful to behold.
It is no use grumbling now, The other was cracks of war (cannons], but there can be little doubt Which they had never heard before. At these two things they marvelled.”
» that the introduction of sup
porters marked a decadence in Barbour's accuracy in this heraldry, which, in its purest statement receives corrobora- form, made the escutcheon tell tion from the fact that Ed- all that should be known about ward III., who began to reign him who bore it. The shield in 1327 and received his or escutcheon was an integral “baptism of fire” in this same part of operative armour; even campaign of Weardale, was the crest could be, and was, the first king of England to displayed on active service; display a crest over his arms but for supporters there never on the Great Seal. It was was any use, except in so far as the lion passant gardant they magnified the importance crowned, which has remained of a knight's shield as it hung the crest of the kings of upon the barrier at the comEngland ever since, except mencement of a tournament. that the lion is now statant Supporters, by modern usage, instead of passant.
have been decreed necessary There is a grievous misuse adjuncts to the dignity of a of crests in vogue, for which peer. The right of certain modern heralds, not the un- commoners, also, to display instructed public, are respons- supporters has been recogible : I mean, the display of nised; but as Sir George two crests or more. When a Mackenzie observed in his man is compelled to assume System of Heraldry' (1680), the name and arms of another “they owe these to prescripfamily as a condition of in- tion, and not to the original in
1 The Brus, cxli, 170-177.
stitution of heraldry.” Never- struck out a new line, introtheless, the prominence of sup- ducing a red dragon, which he porters impresses the unin- coupled, somewhat unequally structed beholder with the one would say, with a white notion that they form the most greyhound. Henry VIII. subimportant part of an achieve- stituted a lion for the greyment. In our royal arms, for hound ; Queen Mary brought instance, “the lion and the an eagle to the task of supunicorn fighting for the crown” porting her shield on the right; quite eclipse the leopards of but Elizabeth reverted to the England, the lion and double lion, which in the succeeding tressure of Scotland, and the reign found itself face to face harp of Brian Boruimhe. Yet, with the Scottish unicorn, although the arms of the three where it has remained unkingdoms have remained un- changed ever since. altered for centuries, the sup- Another very common misporters have been subject to conception in matters heraldic frequent change. Henry IV. is that by which a shield of of England displayed an antel- arms is deemed honourable in ope and a swan when he was proportion to the number of Duke of Hereford; when he quarterings marshalled therein. became king he adopted the There is confusion here betwo angels of his predecessor tween a shield or banner of Richard II., who was perhaps arms and a genealogical the first King of England to pennon, each proper in its use these exterior ornaments. place, but intended for totally Henry V. had a lion and an different purposes. On a antelope; pious Henry VI. had genealogical pennon are mar. two antelopes, although some, shalled the arms of those says Nisbet, have interpreted families whose blood runs the animal supporting his arms legitimately in the veins of on the left over the gateway of an individual. To entitle him Eton College as “a leopard to marshal sixteen quarters he spotted proper, with fire issuing must be able to trace his out of his mouth and ears.” lineage, paternal and maternal, As few persons can have wit- through four complete and nessed a leopard under such consecutive generations of an exceptional affliction, and armorial families. Then his as the sculptor probably never genealogical pennon becomes saw an antelope in the flesh, a historic document, to be there is some difficulty in displayed with propriety on identifying the animal repre- great occasions, such as a sented. Edward IV. used sev- funeral or a marriage, or for eral pairs of supporters, - & the interior decoration of a black bull with golden hoofs church or mansion. But it is and a white lion-two lions— wholly unsuitable and improper and again, a lion and a white for the original purpose of hart. Richard III. chose two a shield or banner of arms, white boars; while Henry VII. which was to enable a knight
to be easily recognised in the There are notable exceptions, lists or on the field of battle of course. The original arms For this purpose it is obvious of Douglas in the thirteenth that the simpler his bearings century showed the two lower were kept the better, and in thirds of the shield plain white, all early heraldry the charges the upper third blue, charged are few and distinct.
with two, later three, white “At Doune, o'er many a spear and
stars. After the fatal expediglaive,
tion of “Good Sir James of Two barons proud their banners wave; Douglas” with the heart of I saw the Moray's silver star,
his master, David II. granted And mark'd the sable pale of Mar."
the honourable addition of a The flower of English chivalry human heart to be charged rode with Edward I. to the upon the white field. As the siege of Caerlaverock in the house of Douglas grew in year 1300. The anonymous might and splendour, it was chronicler of that famous ex- necessary to distinguish bepedition chose to write in tween the arms of the different Norman-French, and is there- branches, and this was often fore not to be quoted in this done by quartering the paternal place; but he describes it as coat with the arms already an occasion of quite unusual assigned to the various earl. splendour. Yet, although he doms or lordships bestowed blazons the banners of one upon them. Thus the Black hundred and six knights Douglas, having inherited the brodé sur sendaus e samis— earldom of Mar, quartered the "embroidered on silk and azure shield with golden bend satin”-not one of them dis- and cross crosslets of that played quartered arms; each dignity; the Red Douglas, had a plain figure in distinot created Earl of Angus, quarcolours. It was the German tered the hereditary lion heralds of the sixteenth century of Angus; Douglas, Lord of who first conceived a pedantic Nithsdale, quartered the sable delight in cramming as many field and argent lion of that achievements as possible into lordship, and so on. But all one shield. From Germany this was done as betokening this spread to other continental the increment of honour; no Courts; it affected English knight ever dreamt of encumpractice to some extent, bering his shield with bearings Scottish practice scarcely at which meant nothing but adall. The Lyon King of Arms mixture of blood not more in his patents has always kept noble than his own. the bearings as simple and the Again, there could be no quarterings as few as possible, simpler or more conspicuous recognising that the ancient escutcheon than that which paternal coat can gain nothing bore “the sable pale of Mar” in honour when diluted, as it -a vertical black band down were, by conjunction with the centre of a white field. another.
But this, the paternal bearing
leated the Douglas, the sehat
of Erskine, suffers no abate- ings of the name—three white ment of honour from being bears' heads on an azure field. quartered with the ancient Some families have borne arms of the much - disputed quartered arms for so many earldom of Mar. This arrange- centuries that these could not ment marks the Earl of Mar be sundered now without maras chief of the house of ring the historic association. Erskine. But imagine another Such is the beautiful achievecase. Suppose some future ment of the Earls of Eglinton, rightful heir to that almost wherein for nearly seven hunimmemorial title - one of the dred years the lilies of MontSeven Earldoms of Scotland gomerie have blossomed beside under her Celtic kings-sup- the annulets of Eglinton. Anpose him to “marry the heiress other such shield is that of the of some great Hoggenheimer, Earls of Morton, where the who requires the bridegroom to paternal heart and stars of quarter with the paternal coat Douglas are quartered with the the arms which he, Hoggen- ancient bearings of Douglas of heimer, has been granted and Lochleven. But, as a rule, the transmits to his daughter. inheritor of established armorial Then the full evil of quarter- bearings should be as jealous ings will be apparent: the of any addition thereto as of ancient shield will be for ever any infringement upon them. defaced by the intrusion of the It would contribute much to Hoggenheimer bearings. In a the beauty and effectiveness word, an ancient coat of arms of certain shields of arms were must always suffer by quarter- the owners to apply for fresh ing, unless with arms of super- patents reducing the number ior antiquity and dignity to of quarterings prescribed at a itself: it is always desirable to time when heraldry had bemaintain an undivided shield come sorely corrupted. The as long as possible. The idea Duke of Richmond and Gordon's that a simple coat of arms is arms offer a case in point. His less honourable than a multiple shield displays no fewer than one may be disproved by the thirty quarters, the arms of fact that the premier Marquis England and France being reof the United Kingdom, Lord peated eight times, those of Winchester, displays only the Scotland, Ireland, d’Aubigny, singularly plain arms of Paulet, Gordon, Badenoch, Seton, and three swords on a sable field; Fraser each twice. Assuming and the premier Viscount, Lord that it is desirable to proclaim Hereford, the equally simple all these alliances upon a single device of Devereux, a red fess shield or banner, the quarters on a white field with 'three should be rearranged so that torteaux (red discs) in chief. none might appear more than So in Scotland Lord Forbes, twice. Even so, in days when premier baron of that realm by heraldry was an operative part the creation of 1442, uses of the national military scheme, nothing but the original bear- such complex bearings must
VOL. CLXXVIII.—NO. MLXXVII.