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House of Clare imparted to the families of Kent the more peculiar use of the chevron, and chevronel ; and from similar causes especial bearings predominated locally in different parts of the kingdom. The feudal attendant on the knight was (as before observed) called the Esquire, and this title was in early times given by the creation of the Sovereign; it was the lowest creative title, and the power of granting it was, at a probably somewhat later period, assumed by the military chieftain, and, although the title of Esquire was originally thus limited, yet on the decline of chivalry it became gradually extended to those, who bore civic offices, &c., and was usually allowed by courtesy to the superior gentry; but its use is now become so nearly universal, as almost to have extinguished the honourable title of Gentleman.

The assumption of arms has kept pace with the assumption of rank, but that coat is of

very inferior estimation, which is not to be found in the College of Heralds.

Thus I have endeavoured, gentle reader, to trace the origin and progress of Heraldry from the distinguishing standard of the nation, or tribe, through the personal pennon of the Baron, or Knight of the middle ages, down to the gentitial, and hereditary, coat of the peaceful man of rank of modern days.

Let us now turn our attention more particularly to the origin, and progress, of the ordinaries, and charges, on the field of the scutcheon.

The Terms of Blazonry (or the art of describing colours, and charges, of arms) are in

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the French Language, (this is in itself a strong
proof, that Heraldry was derived by us from
France) and the colours (including black and
white) are thus named :-
Yellow

Or
White

Argent
Red

Gules
Blue

Azure
Green

Vert
Black

Sable
Purple

Purpure
Orange

Tennè
Murray

Sanguine. The two first are denominated metals, the others are termed colours. Peacham * saith thus : “ Now after your two metals, yellow and white, Gold or Silver, which in Armory we call Or and Argent: you have four principal colours, viz., Sable or black, Azure or blew, Gules or red, Verd or green. There are others, as Purpure, Sanguine, Tennè, which are in more use with the French and other nations, than with us in England.

Now reflecting on the progress of armorial vearings, it may be suspected, that in the earliest ages the field of the standard was more often of a self colour, and that, when charged at all, one bearing alone was generally used for the sake of variance, but it is admitted, that some of the earliest departures from the plain field was by simple divisions by one or two lines with different tinctures, and that hence

* « The Compleat Gentleman," p. 181.

a

arose the fess, the pale, the bend, &c. These
divisions are thus termed :-
The Chief

The Fess
The Pale

The Chevron
The Bend

The Cross

The Saltier. There have been different hypotheses as to the origin of these more ancient, and simple, forms, and they are called Ordinaries. These however, and their several variations with the self colours, &c., could not long satisfy the minds of men. As they increased, and, as they sought to establish new families under new names, so did the higher orders find it necessary to ransack the whole material, and imaginative, world to supply new marks of distinction, and these varied, and additional, new bearings are termed Charges. The many crusades not only tended greatly to increase the number of personal arms, and charges, but instances occurred, in which he, who was already entitled to them, did, in honourable remembrance of his pious deeds, change his heraldic atchievement. Thus the ancestor of my friend, Sir Alex. Malet, Bart., when he arrived here with the Norman William, brought with him a shield charged with three buckles, in lieu of which either he, or some one of his immediate posterity, on the return from the crusades, took, as his arms, azure, three escallops, or, which are now borne by the family. Similar changes on the same occasions took place with regard to the arms of Berkeley, Villiers, &c.

In somewhat later periods, (7) Jousts and Tournaments, in accord with the military spirit of the age, were on every Friday in Lent held in Smithfield, as we are informed by Stow in his “ Annales of England.” The Knights with their horses, highly caparisoned, made their appearance well armed, and, attended by their Esquires, having their heraldic honours depicted on their banners, their surcoats, &c., and from hence is derived the term, coat of arms.

Upon his surcoat valiant Neville bore
A silver saltire upon martial red.”

Drayton's Barons' Wars.

In still later ages, military distinctions became obsolete, and the pride of man broke in on all order, and propriety. Arms were assumed on all sides, alike by him, who was fitted only for the distaff, as by him, who could, and did, wield the lance. They have been multiplied to the present day without authority, and without right. Our Kings in early times had Heralds, but it was Richard, the Third, who first incorporated them, and established the College of Arms. For one or two centuries they checked this evil, which now reigns triumphant. Although the Heralds' College is in this respect become inefficient, yet it is an institution of no small national importance, and truly glad should I be to see its services more fostered, and protected by the State. The Heralds have their duties to perform at coronations, royal funerals, &c., and within the walls of their College are deposited the family records of the man of rank,

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