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A transcript of the book A Grammar of English Heraldry, chapter 7



THE heraldry of the fifteenth century continued, until the incorporation of the heralds in 1484, much on the same lines as those of the fourteenth century, but, as might be expected, with a few additional features of its own. These and the heraldic usage of the century in general are well illustrated by a pictured book of arms about 1460, in the British Museum, in which many of the shields are also accompanied by more or less complete blazons in English.

For example, the arms of the 'Erle of Warreyne' are 'gold and asewre checche'; those of Valence 'sylvyr and asewre berle vij or ix merlettys gowlys'; and the arms of 'Mayster Bowet Byschop of Yorke' (1407-23) 'sylver iij rayndere hedys all of sabyll.'

Fig. 127. Greyby

This interesting collection contains two examples of the curious sub-ordinary called flanches, formed of a pair of curved flanks or segments intruded from the sides of the shield. Thus John Greyby bears an ermine field with two 'flaunchys azure with vi whetherys (wheat-ears) of golde' (Fig. 127); and John Olney 'gowlys besaunte ij flaunches of sabyll (with) ij leberdys sylwyr crownyd wt gowlys armyd wt asewre,'

Another new feature illustrated in this collection is the division of the shield into six or nine panes or pieces (Fr. pointes ). Thus all anonymous shield at the beginning is 'six pieces [gold?] and gules with three pineapples of gold in the gules,' and another contains the contemporary example granted in 1456 by John Smert, Garter, to the Tallow-chandlers' Company, and described by him as 'un escu de six points dasur et dargent a trois Coulombes de mesmes membrez de gules portans chacun en son bec ung ramceau dolive dor' (Fig. 128). The Girdlers' Company also had a grant in 1454 of 'six pieces of azure and gold with three gold gridirons in the azure.' Thomas Newton 'a beryth goulys and wert ix pecys iiij lebardis headys of gold' (Fig. 129), and John Garther 'beryth of ix pecys ermyñ and ermyne.'

Another usage of frequent occurrence is that of arms with fields party cheveronwise, but described as 'enty.' Thus 'the bastard of Clarence' (John, son of Thomas duke of Clarence) 'a beryth ente asewre a chef of gowles' with two gold leopards in the chief and a gold fleur-de-lis in the foot (Fig. 130); and Sir Bryan Sandford has 'ermyne and

Fig. 128. Tallow-
chandlers' Company

Fig. 129. Thomas

Fig. 130. The Bas-
tard of Clarence

sabyll entte' with two boars' heads of gold in the chief; while a third example, the arms of Sir John Goddarde, is blazoned as 'a poynt of sabyll a chefe of goules entte grele (engrailed) iij eglys hedis of sylvyr the bekis gold.'

'Enty' seems actually to be a deep chief of one indenture, like the pointe of the French heralds; and in one instance, where it is reversed, the arms of Thorpe are described as the 'feld gold a chefe of asewre entte pycche' with a walking griffin silver, and drawn with two lines issuing from the corners of the shield.

'Enbelyfe' is another comparatively new heraldic term, used to describe charges that are party bendwise. Thus the arms of Rote are 'sylvyr and sabyll' with a lion 'contyrcolorys enbelyfe after the felde' (Fig. 131), and another shield is azure and silver an eagle 'enbelyf contyrcolorys armyd with gold.' In the case of a lion the division is usually party bend wise-sinister.

Fig. 131. Rote

Fig. 132. The Carpenters'

Engrailed cheverons also appear in this collection, and are fortified by the grant in 1466 by William Hawkeslowe, Clarenceux, to the Fellowship of the Craft of Carpenters of 'a felde Silver a Cheveron sable grayled iij Compas of the same' (Fig. 132).

Quartered shields appear frequently, as might be expected from the fact that the system of quartering was now fully established.

One curious feature in the drawings in the manuscript is that a pair of beasts or a couple of heads occurring together, as in a chief, are shown facing one another, instead of looking in the same direction, as was more usual.