Coat of Arms Terms with the letter ‘B’

Coat of Arms Gifts

coat of arms gifts
coat of arms gifts

Family Crest Gifts



Heraldry Terms with the letter ‘B’

Bacchus faces. See Faces, Backgammon Table: this singular device is borne by the following family.

Azure, three pair of backgammon table open of the first, pointed argent, edged or–John PEGREZ.

Badelaire, (fr.): a broad-bladed sword, or scimetar, slightly curved. The sabre comes nearest to it. Badge, or Cognizance: a mark of distinction somewhat similar to a crest, though not placed on a wreath, nor worm upon the helmet. They were rather supplemental bearings quite independent of the charge of the original arms, and were borne on the banners, ensigns, caparisons, and even on the breasts, and more frequently on the sleeves of servants and followers. The badges borne by the Kings of England are very numerous, and are to be found on tombs, carvings, embroidery, stained glass, and paintings. The earliest which can be any way reckoned as a badge, is the Planta genista, or Broom; and of the others, of which a list is given, it must be admitted that several rest upon solitary instances, or on the authority of the writers whose names are appended.

STEPHEN. A Sagittary? HEN. VI. Antelope collared and Ostrich feathers(Guillim). chained. HEN. II. Escarbuncle(Mackenzie). Two feathers in saltire(MS. Bib. Sword and olive-branch(Cotton). Reg.) RIC. I. Star within crescent(Great Spotted panther passant guard. Seal). (MS. Harl.) Star and crescent separate(Great YORK. Seal). A white rose. Armed arm holding lance(Cotton). White rose en soleil(MS. Bib. Reg.). Sun on two anchors(Guillim). ED. IV. Falcon within fetterlock JOHN. Star within crescent(Silver (ironwork) penny). Bull sable[for Clare]. HEN. III. Star within crescent Dragon sable[for Ulster]. (Great Seal). Sun in splendour(Baker). ED. I. Rose, stalked(MS. Harl). White hart. ED. II. Hexagonal castle(Great White wolf(MS. Lansd.) Seal). ED. V. Falcon within fetterlock ED. III. Rays from clouds(Cam- (painting). den). RIC. III. Rose and sun separate Stump of tree(MS. Harl.) (Great Seal). Ostrich feathers(MS. Harl.) Falcon with maiden’s head(Sculp- Falcon. ture). Griffin(Private Seal). TUDOR. Sword and three crowns(MS. Red and white roses united. Harl.) Roses separate and crowned. RIC. II. Sun in splendour(MS. Portcullis. Harl.) Fleur de lis. Sun behind cloud(effigy). HEN. VII. A red dragon (Baker). A branch of broom(?) (effigy). Hawthorn bush crowned(glass). White hart couchant. Dun cow(Baker). Stump of tree. Greyhound courant(for Beaufort). White falcon(Hollingshed). HEN. VIII. Greyhound courant. LANCASTER. ED. VI. Sun in splendour(Cotton). Red rose. MARY. Double rose impaled with a Red rose en soleil. sheaf of arrows within a semi- Collar of SS. circle(MS. in Coll. of Arms). HEN. IV. A genet(on his tomb). Rose and pomegranate, Eagle displayed(ibid.) ELIZABETH. Harp crowned[for Tail of a fox pendent(Camden). Ireland]. Crescents(Hollingshed). A rose. Panthers and eagles crowned(MS. STUART. Harl.) Roses united[for England]. HEN. V. A beacon inflamed. Fleur de lis[for France]. Antelope gorged with a crown. Thistle, leaved[for Scotland]. Swan gorged with a crown. Harp[for Ireland].

The above representative badges for the four kingdoms were continued by the House of BRUNSWICK and in George the Third’s reign(i.e. 1801) they were settled by sign manual, the old badge for ENGLAND, namely, the Cross of S.George, being retained in the national banner of the Union Jack(q.v. under Flag).

A white rose within a red one, barbed seeded, slipped and leaved proper, and ensigned with the imperial crown, for ENGLAND. A thistle, slipped and leaved proper, and ensigned with the imperial crown, for Scotland. A harp or, stringed argent, and a trefoil vert[i.e. shamrock] both ensigned as before, for Ireland. Upon a mount vert, a dragon passant, wings expanded and endorsed, gules, for Wales.

Crown Keeper’s Badge. Certain OFFICERS also wore badges; thus: Crown-keepers, or yoemen of the crown, bore on their left shoulders a crown, which, under the Tudor sovereigns, surmounted a rose. Four examples have been noticed on brasses: one of them is in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries, from which this illustration is taken. From about the time of Richard II. badges have been occasionally borne by SUBJECTS. This practice is alluded to by Shakspere, who mentions bath the cognizance and the crest.

Old Clifford.–Might I but know thee by the household badge. Warwick.–Now by my father’s badge, old Nevil’s crest, The rampant bear chained to the ragged staff, etc.

The PERCIES have a crescent for their badge, and the VERES used a mullet.

Brass of LADY PERYENT. Badges are frequently represented on brasses, and often beneath the feet. Occasionally a badge was engraved on the dress; thus a swan(or as some say a pelican) is embroidered on the collar of Lady Peryent, 1415, as represented on the brass in Digswell church, Herts. The Hame of Saint-John will be found in its alphabetical order, and the cognizances of several other families under Knots. Another class of distinguishing marks may also be included under the head of badges, though not heraldic badges, namely, those connected with TRADE. The theory of the grant of armorial bearings was such that engagement in commerce was incompatible with the bearing of arms, which was permitted only to gentleman; and this was strictly the case throughout the middle ages. Still the merchants had their badges; the Guilds and Companies, of which the great London Companies are the survivors, had their distinctive marks or devices, and no doubt it is these which in later years, when the dignity of successful commerce came to be recognized, were incorporated into the arms of their companies. Similar also were the Merchants’ Marks, and these will be noted in their place. Lastly, there were the signs, i.q. ensigns, of the chief houses of trade, by which the house was known, e.g., at the “Bible and Crown in Fleet-street.” With scarcely an exception(and those mostly cases of revival) these signs have been only retained by inns and hostelries. Badger, (fr. blaireau): in blazon this is often called a Brock, and occasionally a Gray.

Or, a badger passant sable–BADGER. Or, on a fesse sable between three brocks passant proper two cinquefoils pierced argent, on each foil an ermine spot–James BROKS, Bp. of Gloucester, 1554-8. Argent, three brocks proper–BROCK. Argent, a chevron between three badger’s legs erased sable–YARMOUTH.

Hare playing on bagpipes. Bagpipes are only named in connection with the hare playing on them.

Argent, three hares sejant playing upon bagpipes gules–HOPWELL, Devon. Argent, three hares sejant gules, playing upon bagpipes or–FITZ-ERCALD, Derby.

[The illustration of a hare playing upon the bagpipes is from MS. Harl. 6563, written in the fourteenth century.]

Bague, (fr.): a gem, or finger-ring. Bagwyn: an imaginary beast like the heraldic antelope, but having the tail of a horse, and long horns curved over the ears, was the dexter supporter of the arms of CAREY, Lord Hunsdon. Baillonné, (fr. baillon: a gag). Of animals when they have a baton in their mouth. Balances, a pair of, (fr. balance): besides appearing in the arms of the Company of BAKERS both of London, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Exeter(in which they are sometimes blazoned as a pair of scales), the following may be noted.

Azure, a pair of balances within an orle of eight estoiles or–STARR. Azure, a pair of balances supported by a sword in pale argent, hilt of pomel or, within a balance of the last–JUSTICE, Scotland.

Balcanifer, or Baldakinifer: the standard-bearer of the knights Templars. Baldcoot. See Coot. Baldrick. See Belt and Bend.

Bale corded.

Bag of madder. Bale, or bag: a package of merchandise corded: one containing silk occurs in the arms of the Company of SILKMEN, while a bag of madder occurs in that of the DYERS. Madder was a plant, much used in dyeing, and is named but in this one instance. It is to be noted especially that the cords are of a different tincture from the rest. The bale, or bag, is to be distinguished from the bundle, or hank(e.g. of cotton, silk, &c.)

Argent, a ship of three masts in full sail on the sea in base, all proper; on a chief or, a bale of silk corded proper, between two bundles of silk pendant of the last–Company of SILKMEN, London[Inc. and arms granted, 1631]. Sable, a chevron engrailed argent, between three bags of madder of the last, corded or–Company of DYERS[Inc. 1471].

Balista, See Sling. Ball. See Fire-ball. Balm: this plant, the common balm(melissa) of our fields, seems to be used only in a canting coat.

Argent, three sprigs of balm flowered proper–BALM.

Bandé, (fr.): for bendy. Bande, (fr.): for a bend dexter. Banded, (empoigné): is used when two or more objects(e.g. a garb or branches of a tree) are bound together with a band of a different tincture. Banderolle, (fr.). See Flag.

Banner. Banner, (old fr. ban, also baniere): a kind of flag painted or embroidered with arms, and of a size proportioned to the rank of the bearer. The banner of an emperor is prescribed to be six feet square, that of a king five feet, that of a prince or duke four feet, and that of a nobleman of any rank from marquess to baron three feet, that of a Knight banneret was still smaller. Whether these rules were at any time strictly observed is very doubtful. Banners were often(but not, it would seem, until a rather late period) fringed with the principal metal and colour of the arms. The chief distinction between the term banner and other flags such as standards, pennons, &c., is that it is square(or nearly so), while the others are, as a rule, elongated. See under Flag. The Funeral banner, or Banneroll, was a square flag whereon the arms of the deceased, and those of his ancestors, were painted, with crest of coronet, but without helmet, mantle, or supporters. The colour of the banner itself follows the same rules as that of the grounds of achievements. It was usually fringed with the principal metal and colour of the arms. The great banner, used at funerals, contained all the quarterings of the deceased, occupying the entire field, the edge being fringed. Funeral banners are not restricted to Knights banneret and persons of higher rank, but may be carried at the interment of gentleman bearing arms, and even at funerals of women. The Beauseant, or Ancient, was the name of the banner of the Knights Templars in the thirteenth century, though it might be described as an oblong flag, per fess, sable and argent, one of the longer sides being affixed to the staff.

Le baucent del HOSPITALE, de goules a un croyz d’argent fourme.–Le baucent[another MS. Le Auncient] del TEMPLE, dargent, al chef de sable a un croyz de goules passant–Roll, temp. HEN. III.

The Military Banners most frequently borne in the English army during the middle ages(besides those of Knights bannerets and other noblemen) were those embroidered with the arms of the sovereign, or with the legendary arms of SS.George, Edmund, and Edward the Confessor, patrons of England. The military banner might contain quarterings, but not impaled arms.

A red banner, charged with the symbol of the Holy Trinity, was borne at the battle of Agincourt, A.D. 1415. The banner of S.John of Beverley was borne in the English army 24 Edw. I. (1295) by one of the vicars of Beverley college. S.Cuthbert’s banner was carried in the English army by a monk of Durham in the wars with Scotland, about 1300; and again in 1513.

The Oriflamme was the military banner of the French army, being derived from a banner anciently belonging to the Abbey of S.Denis, near Paris. It was charged with a saltire wavy, with rays issuing from the centre crossways, and from these rays the name auriflamme was no doubt derived.

The oriflamme borne at Agincourt was(according to Sir N. H. Nicolas) an oblong red flag, split into five points.

The banner was used also as a charge, occurring generally hung from the walls of a castle, and the Paschal Lamb is usually represented carrying a banner.

Gules, on a banner or, an imperial eagle charged with an escutcheon argent, the staff held by a griffin segreant of the last–GARBETT. Quarterly, first and fourth gules, a banner displayed argent; thereon a canton azure charged with a S.Andrew’s cross of the second; second and third or, a cross moline azure within a bordure engrailed argent–BANNERMANN, Elsick. Azure, three banners bendwise in pale flowing to the sinister or–KINGDOM. Argent, on a cross gules a Paschal Lamb or, carrying a banner argent charged with a cross of the second–Hon. Society of the MIDDLE TEMPLE.

Banneroll(?). See Banner. Bar, (fr. fasce en divise; lat. fasciola): resembles the fess in form, but occupies about one-fifth of the field. Although practically a diminutive of the fess, it is not reckoned as such, but a distinct ordinary. It is seldom(and in such few cases there is a chief) borne singly, and consequently is not confined, like the fess, to the middle of the shield. It has two diminutives, the closet, which is half the bar, and the barrulet(fr. burèle), which is a quarter. As the bar occupies one-fifth of the field a greater number than four cannot be borne together. When three or four bars are borne in the same arms, they are, for the sake of proportion, drawn considerably narrower than one-fifth of the height of the field.

MAUDUIT. William MAUDYT,–d’argent a deus barres de goulz–Roll, temp. HENRY. III. Richard de HARECOURT,–d’or a deux barres de goules–Ibid. Sire Andreu le GRIMSTEDE, de goules a iij barres de veer–Roll, temp. ED. II. Sire Wary MARTIN, de argent a ij barres de goules besantes de or–Ibid. Monsire Hugh SEINTTLE, port d’asur a deux barres d’argent; au cheif de gules–Roll, temp. ED. II.

In bar, or barwise, signifies the horizontal arrangement of charges in two or more rows; the term in fesse being proper only when there is but one row, i.e. placed across the fess-point. Bar-gemel, or gemelle; bars-gemels are bars voided, or closets placed in couples(they derive their name from the Latin gemellus, double, or fr. jumelles), and with the old writers the word gemelle was used for bar-gemel. But two bars-gemels are not always distinguishable from four bars, nor three bars-gemels from six barrulets, nor four bars-gemels from eight. For the odd number the term barrulet must be used. Palliot fancifully describes bars generally as immolés, and the expression ‘bar and a-half’ is found in one roll of arms.

Tremon de MENYLL,–d’azur a trois gemelles, et ung cheif d’or–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Roand le Connestable de RICHEMUND, de goules a ung cheif d’or, a deus gemeus de l’un en l’autre d’or–Ibid. Sire Wauter de HONTERCOMBE, de ermyne, a ij barres gymeles de goules–Roll, temp. EDW. II. Azure, a bar and a-half argent, in the sinister quarter a garb or–SCHEFFELD(Glovers ordinary).

And sometimes it appears that each bar of a bar-gemel was counted as a gemelle.

ERCALL. Argent, three bars-gemels sable–ERCALL. Sr Thom’s de RICHMOND port de gules le chef d’or ov quatre gemeus d’or–Harl. MS. 6589. Argent, three bars-gemels gules–BARRY, Earl of Barrymore, Ireland. Gules, three bars-gemels and a canton ermine–BARDWELL.

Bars like the fesse may be embattled, dancetty, nebuly, wavy, &c., and a shield may be divided per bar and per base bar, q.v.

LACY. Ermine, three bars wavy gules–LACY. [In Roll, temp. Edw. II. Sir Johan de LACY, oundee de gules et de ermine]. Argent, two bars embattled ermine–BURNBY, co. Devon. Argent, two bars counter embattled gules–JAMES, co. Essex. Gules, two bars dancetty or–SAMLER. Argent, two bars nebuly sable, a bend or–POWER, co. Surrey, 1601. Azure, two bars wavy or–Sir Walter de la POOLE.

N.B. In French heraldic works the word barre is used as equivalent to a bend sinister, and this is supposed in many cases to be a mark of bastardy, Hence the expression is often found of a bar sinister, meaning a bend sinister. The modern French equivalent for the bar, fasce en divise, means that it is a fesse of half its ordinary width. See also under Barbel. Barbican. See Castle. Barby, (fr. barbée). See Cross, §13. Barded, (fr. bardé): of a horse caparisoned. The barde was originally the armour-plating covering the chest of a horse in battle, but came in time to signify ornamental covering of any kind. Bark. See Boat. Barley. See Wheat. Baron and Femme are words employed in describing impalements of the arms of husband and wife; that on the dexter being the paternal achievement of the man, that on the sinister the family arms of the woman, See Marshalling. Barre(fr.)=a bend sinister[not bar]. Barrel, (fr. Barillet). See Tun. Barry, (in old fr. barré, sometimes burelé, in modern fr. fascé): denotes that the field is horizontally divided into a certain even number of equal parts. If the number of divisions were odd the same tincture would appear in chief and in base, and the pieces of the other tincture would be so many bars, or barrulets.

DE GREY. Richard de GREY, barry d’argent et d’azure–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Alayn de Fitz Brian, barree d’or et de gules–Ibid. Patrick de CHAURCY, burele d’argent et de goules–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Barry of six, ermine and gules–HUSSEY, Wilts. Barry of ten, argent and gules–BARRY, Lord Barry. Barry of ten, argent and sable–BARRALL. Barry of twelve, or and sable–BOTFIELD, Salop. Barry of twenty, argent and azure–BRUN. Per pale or and argent barruly wavy gules–Sire Richard de AUNTESHEYE. Barry dancetty azure and argent–TURBERVILLE.

The division of the shield into party-coloured pieces by means of lines is not unfrequent, and the barry is combined for the sake of variety with other line-divisions. The following will give some idea of the varieties.


Barry-bendy sinister. Barry bendy or Barry bendy lozengy may be employed when a field is divided bar-wise, each piece being subdivided bendwise also, the tinctures being counterchanged. Barry bendy sinister also occurs.

Barry bendy of six argent and gules–AMERY. Barry bendy lozengy argent and gules–QUARM, Devon. Bendy sinister and barry, gules and argent–WYER.

Barry indented and Barry dancetty have the lines drawn so that apex falls beneath apex.

Barry of four indented or sable or azure–Richard MITFORD, Bp. of Chichester, 1389, of Salisbury, 1396-1347. Barry indented, argent and gules–John BALUN. Barry dancetty of six azure and argent–TODENHAM.

Barry indented. Barry indented, the one in the other, may be blazoned Lozengy …. couped per fesse, or better still Lozengy …. parted barwise and counterchanged.

Barry of six argent and sable, indented, the one in the other–GUISE, or GYSE, Glouc. Barry indented, the one in the other, or and azure, on a chief gules, three cross crosslets of the first–MOUNTAINE, Westminster, 1613.

Barry nebuly. Barry nebuly, when the lines instead of being drawn straight across the shield are drawn as in the margin; and barry wavy, with the bars as shewn in previous page.

Barry nebuly of six argent and azure, on a bend gules a lion passant gardant or–HABERDASHERS’ Company. Arms granted in 1571. Barry nebuly of six, or and gules–DOLSEBY, London. Barry nebuly of six, or and sable–BLOUNT, Bart. 1642. Barry wavy of six, ermines and argent–MORRIS.

Barry pily. Barry pily: divided into an even number of pieces by piles placed horizontally across the shield. If the number of pieces were uneven, it would rather be called so many piles barwise, proceeding from the dexter or sinister side. It is difficult to find examples, as the proper position of the ordinary is upright.

Barry pily of eight, or and gules–HOYLAND, Linc. Barry pily of eight, gules and or–VANCE, Ireland.

Barry per pale counterchanged is when the field is divided into several pieces barwise, and by a party-line palewise the tinctures on each side of that line are counterchanged. For barry paly see billetty.

Barry of six, sable and or, per pale counterchanged–SCURFIELD. Barry of twelve, per pale azure and argent counterchanged–MOORE, Salop.

N.B. In modern French heraldic works barré seems to be used generally as the equivalent of bendy sinister, just as the bar is used for the bend sinister, as has already been noted. Barberry: one example only appears of this shrub(berberis), with its bright red berries, in allusion evidently to the name.

Argent, a barberry branch fructed proper–BERRY.

Barbed, (fr. barbé); bearded: an expression chiefly applied to the metal point of an arrow, sometimes also to the green leaves of a rose, when any of these are of a different tincture. By the French also to the gills of cocks, &c. A cross when ‘barbed’ is called a Cross barby.

Gules, three arrows argent, barbed or–Nicholas HALES. Argent, on two bars gules, three roses of the field, barbed vert, seeded or, two and one–ORLEBAR, Bedford. De gueules, a trois coqs d’argent, becqués, crêtes, barbés, et membrés d’or–SANDELIN, Artois.

Barbel, (fr. barbeau, lat. cyprinus); the fresh-water fish, so named from the barbs attached to the mouth; and with this may be classed the Tench(tinca vulgaris) as similar in character.

Sr John de BARE porte d’azure ov ij barbes d’or croisele d’or ov la bordure endente de gules–Falkirk, roll, Harl. MSS. Azure, semé of cross crosslets fitchy at foot or, and two barbels embowed and endorsed of the same, eyes argent–Arms of the duchy of BARRE, which are quartered by QUEENS’ COLLEGE, Cambridge. Argent, two barbels haurient, respecting each other sable–COLSTON. Borne also by families of BARWAIS, BARDIN, BARE, BERNARD, BURES, &c. Azure, a fesse, or, between three tenches argent–WAYTE, Norfolk. Borne by families of VON TANQUES and of Marshall TENCHE, Flanders.

The bar in French heraldry sometimes means the barbel, but generally the sea-fish so named(lat. sciœna).

Le Counte de Bar, d’azur, pudre a croisile dor a deux bars de mer–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Gueules, a un bar contourné d’argent, la tête surmountée d’une fleur-de-lis d’or–Ville dê BARFLEUR, Normandy.

Barnacle, or Barnacle goose, (old name Bernak); it is known now as the Cleg or Clark goose, perhaps the same as the Solan or Orkney goose; Anser bernicla is recognized by all naturalists.

Sire William BERNAK de argent a une fesse e iij bernaks de sable–Roll, temp. EDW. II. Sable, a barnacle goose argent; Azure, three barnacles argent–BARNACLE. Gules, a barnacle goose argent–BARNER. Argent(?), a chevron ermines between three barnacle birds close proper–WYKE.

Barnacle or Horse-barnacle: generally spoken of as a Pair of barnacles, and in a roll of Henry III. called Breys, is supposed to represent at instrument used by farriers(fr. morailles) to curb unruly horses. It is occasionally borne extended, that is, horizontally. With the French heralds this charge has caused much discussion. There broyes are borne by the family of BROYES(as well as by that of JOINVILLE and GOY), and have been supposed to be respectively architectural festoons, instruments for torture of criminals, hemp crushers, as well as the meaning given above.

WYATT. Gules, a barnacle argent–WYATT, Kent. Argent, three pair of barnacles, expanded in pale sable–BRAY, Cornwall. Argent, four bars wavy azure on a chief gules, three pair of barnacles or–SMITH, Suffolk.

The most celebrated instance of the barnacle expanded is the coat of the illustrious French family of Joinville, or as the English called it, Geneville.

JOINVILLE. Geoffrey de GENEVILE d’azure, a trois breys d’or au cheif d’ermyne ung demy lion de goules–Roll temp. HEN. III. Simon de GENEVILL a trois breys d’or, au chief d’argent ung demi-lion de goules–Ibid.

Baron: the fifth and lowest rank of the British peerage. The title, introduced into England immediately after the Norman conquest, was originally applied to all the Thanes(or feudal lords under the rank of earl) who held great fiefs of several Knights’ fees, but was subsequently restricted to those summoned by writ to parliament, a practice which dates from the reign of John. The first baron by patent was John Beauchamp of Holt, who was raised to the peerage by K. Richard II. in the eleventh year of his reign(Oct. 10, 1387) by the title of baron of Kidderminster. No other instance occurs until 10 Hen. VI. Barons are not recognised as part of the English nobility quâ Baron, i.e. Lord of the manor, unless they are duly summoned to be a Peer of Parliament; and before the reign of Charles II. barons, even though peers of the realm, were not allowed to wear coronets q.v., but only the crimson cap, with a plain gold band. Baronets may be distinguished as follows. I. Baronets of Great Britain: An order founded by King James I., May 22, 1611, ranking below that of a peer and above that of a knight. The dignity is bestowed by patent and is hereditary, but generally limited to the heirs male of the grantee. It was in the first instance bestowed upon knights and esquire(being duly qualified), each of whom stipulated to maintain thirty foot soldiers in Ireland at 8d. per diem for the term of two years. Upon the establishment of the order it was arranged that the number of baronets should never exceed two hundred, and that upon the extinction of a baronetcy no other should be created to fill the vacancy; but these regulations were soon dispensed with, and the number became unlimited. The qualifications required of those who were admitted into the number of baronets are thus described in the instructions of the royal founder to the commissioners, for the admission of proper persons into the order:–

“Provided always that you proceed with none, except it shall appear unto you upon good proof that they are men for quality, state of living, and good reputation, worthy of the same: and that they are at least descended of a grandfather by the father’s side that bore arms: and have also a certain yearly revenue in lands of inheritance of possession, one thousand pounds per annum de claro, or lands of the old rent, as good(in account) as one thousand pounds per annum of improved rents, or at the least two parts in three to be divided of lands to the said values in possession, and the other third part in reversion, expectant upon one only life, holding by dower or in joynture.”

The first baronet created was Sir Nicholas Bacon. The precedence assigned to baronets is before all knights bannerets, except those made by the king himself, or the prince or Wales under the royal banner in actual war, and next after the younger sons of viscounts and barons. The badge of baronetage, namely a sinister hand(q.v.) erect, open, and couped at the wrist gules(being the arms assigned to the ancient Kings of Ulster), was granted in 1612. It may be borne upon a canton, or upon an inescutcheon, which may be placed either upon the middle chief point or the fesse point, so as least to interfere with the charges composing the family arms. It should never be placed upon the intersection of two or more coats quartered, unless the baronet has two surnames, and bears the arms belonging to them quarterly. It the same year in which this badge was granted, King James knighted the heirs of all existing baronets, and ordained that their eldest sons might for the future claim knighthood upon attaining their majority. This privilege was abolished by George IV., but has since been restored, though never claimed. II. Baronets of Ireland: An order established by James I. in 1619. Their qualifications, privileges, and badge, are the same as those of the baronets of Great Britain. It is believed that this dignity has not been conferred since the union of 1801. III. Baronets of Scotland and Nova Scotia. An order similar to those before mentioned, projected by the same monarch, but founded by Charles I. in 1625, immediately after his accession. The object of this order was to encourage the plantation of Nova Scotia, in which colony each baronet had granted to him by his patent eighteen square miles of land, having a seacoast, or at least the rank of some navigable river, three miles in length, and an extent of six miles island. The arms of baronets of this order are not now distinguished by any badge, although one appears to have been in use until the year 1629, viz. a small shield argent charged with a saltire azure, in the centre of which upon an escutcheon or is the lion of Scotland within a tressure gules. No creations have taken place since 1707. Barrow: borne on the seal of DROITWICH(see Sword): also,

Sable, a hand-barrow between nine roses or–BEARWELL.

Barrulet, Barrelet, or Bracelet, and Barruly. The Barrulet is a diminutive of the Bar, of which it is one-fourth, that is to say, a twentieth part of the field; the closet being one half of the bar. It is never borne singly.

WACE. Argent, four barrulets gules; on a canton of the second a mullet of six points of the first–WACE. Azure, six barrulets gemel[=12 barrulets] and a chief or–MENELL, York. Argent, seven barrulets gemel azure[=14 barrulets]–INGERSALEM. Sable, eight barrulets gemel[=16 barrulets] and a canton or on two bars azure, as many barrulets dancetty argent. A chief indented of the second–SAWBRID, [Indented argent–BUCKTIN, York.]

Beyond this the term barruly[or barruletty, fr. burellé, old fr. burlé] is used by some writers is describing a field horizontally divided into ten or any higher even number of equal parts; practically, however, the term barry might be used in most cases.

Patrik de CHAURCY, burele d’argent et de goules–Roll, temp. HEN. III. Le Counte DE LA MARCHE, burule de une menue burlure dargent et de azur–Another Roll, temp. HEN. III. Sire Robert de ESTOTEVILE, burlee de argent e de goules a un lion rampand de sable–Roll, temp. ED. II.

Barry. See under Bar. Bartizan. See Castle. Base: 1. (fr. bas de l’ecu) The lower part of the shield, hence in base means that the charge is so to be placed. 2. Base-bar, or Baste: a portion of the base of a shield, equal in width to a bar, parted off by a horizontal line. It is identical with the plain point, q.v. under Point. 3. For base in architecture see Pillar.

Argent, a lion rampant and a base indented purpure–John de SKIPTON, Harl. MSS. 1386.

Basilisk. See Cockatrice.


2.Wicker Basket. Basket, (fr. corbeille): there are several varieties of baskets found figured in coats of arms. 1. Ordinary or hand-baskets, sometimes termed wicker baskets.

Azure, three baskets or–GARDEN. Sable, three baskets[like fig. 1] argent–LITTLEBURY. Sable, three wicker baskets[otherwise dossers] with handles argent–Sir John LITTLEBORNE. Sable, a bend or, between three hand baskets argent–WOOLSTON, co. Devon. 1716. Gules, three covered baskets or–PENTNEY Priory, Norfolk.

Bread-basket. 2. In one or two cases Religious houses seem to have borne a kind of bread basket filled with loaves or wastel cakes.

Sable, three baskets full of bread argent–MIDDLETON Abbey, Dorset. Azure, three baskets or–GARDEN. Argent, two bars sable ….. a basket of bread(i.e. wastel-cakes) or on the sinister side–London, BETHLEHEM Hospital. Azure, a basket of fruit proper between three mitres or–JANE, Bp. of Norwich, 1499-1501.

Winnowing-basket. 3. Winnowing-baskets. These have various names, that of Vane of Vannet being the commonest. But the same kind of basket, which has, when badly drawn, been mistaken for an escallop-shell, is also termed Fan, Fruttle, and Shruttle,

Sire Robert de SEVENS de azure, a iij vans de or–Roll, temp. ED. II. [N.B. The brass of Sir H. de Septvans in Chartham Church, Kent(ob. A.D. 1306), has the three vanes only, and not seven, as might have been expected from the name.]

The four implements, viz. prime, iron, cutting-knife, and outsticker, used in basket-making are represented on the insignia of the Basket-makers’ Company:–

Azure, three cross-baskets in pale argent between a prime and an iron on the dexter, and a cutting knife and an outsticker on the sinister of the second–BASKET-MAKERS’ Company.

4. Fish-baskets. See Weel. Basnet, Bassinet. See Cap of Steel. Bat: This mammal, not infrequent in English arms, is usually represented displayed; its proper tincture is sable. Blazoned sometimes by the older name of rere-mouse,

“Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings”–SHAKESPERE, Mids. Night’s Dream.

STAININGS. Bats’ wings are also borne.

Argent, a bat displayed proper–STAININGS. Or, a bat volant gules; a rere-mouse vert–ATTON. Or, a bat’s wing gules, surmounted of another azure–ALDEN.

Bataillé, (fr.): of a bell when the clapper(batail, old fr. for battant) is of a different tincture. Bath, Order of the. See Knights.


REGINALD, Earl of Cornwall. Baton, (fr. bâton), (though the old fr. Baston, Battoon, or Batune, is used almost entirely for the bendlet). It resembles the diminutive of the Bend sinister(and hence often called a sinister baton) is general form, but usually couped at both extremities. The sinister baton was in later times made to be a mark of the illegitimacy of the first bearer, and to be of metal when assigned to the illegitimate descendants of royalty, but in every other case to be of colour, even though placed upon another colour. Accordingly, the following arms were assigned by modern heralds:–

Gules, two lions passant guardant[HENRY I.] with a batoon sinister azure–REGINALD, base son of Henry I., created Earl of Cornwall,

It was said that the baton should not be laid aside until three generations had borne it, and not then, unless succeeded by some other mark assigned by the king of arms, or unless the coat was changed. Dexter batons are but rarely met with. Sometimes a small baton appears in the mouths(fr. baillonné) or between the paws of animals, such as lions, dogs, bears, &c., but this almost entirely in crests.

Quarterly vert and or a couped baston of the second–DE HISPANIA. Gules, on a bend engrailed or, a baston azure–ELLIOT(1666). Gules, a chevron raguly of two bastons couped at the top argent–Christopher DRAIESFIELD, Harl. MS. 1386. Argent, a lion rampant azure, a dexter baton compony or and gules–Sir Richard de DOCKESSEYE. Argent, a lion rampant gules, over all a dexter baston compony or and azure–Piers LUCIEN. Argent, a lion rampant sable holding a baton in pale azure–WILLISBY.

In the sense of an ordinary bendlet, (q.v.)

Monsire JEFFREY DE CORNEWALE, d’argent une lyon de gules couronne d’or: une baston de sable charge de trois mullets d’or–Roll, temp. ED. III.

Baton-cross. See Cross, §8, 31. Battelly, (fr. bastille) or battled. See embattled.

Battering-ram. Battering-ram, (fr. bélier): this military charge seems to occur only in the arms of one single family, but occurs also as a crest.

Argent, three battering-rams barwise proper, headed azure, armed and garnished or–BERTIE.

Battle-axe. See Axe. Battled. See Embattled. Baudrick, (fr. Baudrier): a sword belt, possibly the prototype of the Bend. Bay, At Bay. See Deer. Bay. See Colour. Bay leaf. See Laurel.

Beacon. Beacon, (A.-Sax. becn, fr. phare): an iron cage or trived, containing blazing material, placed upon a lofty pole served to guide travellers; or to alarm the neighbourhood in case of an invasion or rebellion. The cressets, or lights anciently used in the streets of London were similar in form.

A beacon or, inflamed proper–Badge of Henry V. Sable, three beacons with ladders or, fired proper–DAUNT. Azure, three beacons with ladders or, fired proper–GERVAYS.

Beads. See Rosary. Beaked, (fr. becqué): of an eagle, or other birds, griffins, and the like, when the beak is of a different tincture. Beaker. See Ewer. Beam. 1. See Attire; 2. See Anchor; 3. See Sun. Beans, (bean-cods, bean-pods, and sheaves of beans), represent the common bean(faba vulgaris), and their exact position is usually given.

Azure, three beans or–MERTON. Argent, three bean-cods transverse the escutcheon proper–HARDBEANE. Gules, three bean-cods pendent or–BEANE. Argent, a chevron gules, between three bean-pods vert–RISE, Cornwall. Argent, a chevron between thee sheaves of beans sable–BLAKE, Northumberland.

Bear, (fr. ours): frequent in German arms, and in some instances in Scottish arms, but comparatively rare in English arms, though not unfrequent as a crest, and sometimes the head or jambs are chosen for the latter apart from the body. In one coat of arms Sea-bears are named: it is not clear what is meant, possibly Seals, but more probably Polar-bears. The Canton of Berne in Switzerland, as well as the Abbey of S.Gall, exhibit the bear in their insignia. Bears appear also as supporters.

BERNARD. Argent, a bear rampant sable, muzzled or–BERNARD. Sire Richard de BARLINGHAM de goules a iij ours de argent–Roll, temp. ED. II. Gules, on a bend or a bear passant sable–Canton of BERNE. Argent, a bear erect sable–Abbey of ST.GALL. Azure, a fesse or; in chief a bear’s head proper muzzled and ringed of the second–BARING[Bp. of Gloucester and B., 1856; of Durham, 1861-79]. Per chevron sable and argent three sea-bears counterchanged–FLOWERDEW, Norfolk.

Bearded, or aulned. See Wheat. Bearing: an expression very frequently used to signify a charge, or anything included within the escutcheon. The old French formula of speaking of the charges upon arms was ‘il porte.’ Beasts, (fr. animaux): the ordinary beasts of the field, with others included under Mammalia, add considerably to the charges of Coats of Arms, as will be seen by the printed Synopsis. A general classification is given there, as a minute and accurate classification would be out of place. It will be found that there are between eighty and ninety varieties to be more or less distinguished both in the drawing and in the blazoning amongst modern coats of arms, but in the earlier arms there were few varieties. If, for instance, we take the wellknown roll of arms, temp. Henry III., containing over 200 arms, we find forty instance of the lion(including the leopard), and some few lioncels(as the lions are termed when there are several, or when they have to be drawn on a small scale); but beyond this, if we except an instance of boars’ heads(borne by Adam de SWYNEBOURNE), no other beast in represented. And when we take the roll of the siege of Carlaverock, temp. Edw. I., containing over 100 coats of arms, and a fine roll, temp. Edw. II., containing over 1,000 coats, and a third roll, temp. Edw. III., containing over 600, the sun total of the mammals to be added to the above list amounts only to six, namely, the bear, the greyhound, and the dolphin, and the heads of goats, stags, and wolves. In time, however, the tiger and the panther(with the lynx and ounce) were added to the lion tribe, as also the cat. Besides the greyhound, other dogs were chosen, viz. the bloodhound, mastiff, spaniel, and the ‘alant’ and ‘talbot.’ The stag, too, was no longer represented by only one variety, and only one name, for we find the buck, the doe, the roebuck, the hart, the hind, and the reindeer; while the boar is known as sanglier, grice, and marcassin. On account of the fur the weasel was prized, and this, with the ermine, the foine, and the marten, as well as the civet(or civet-cat), appear on the arms. For the skin, too, the otter and the beaver, and for its quills the porcupine, seem to have been sought after, and to have been selected for charges on arms. From the north, the polar bear and the seal, the whale and the dolphin; while from other parts, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the buffalo, the camel, the antelope, and the ibex, provided subjects for the arms. At home, the goat and the sheep(the latter with the varieties of the lamb, the ram, and the toison, or fleece), the bull(with the varieties of ox, cow, and calf), the horse, the badger, and the fox were also added to the list. Nor were lesser animals overlooked, e.g. the hare and the rabbit, the squirrel, the hedgehog, the mole, and the rat, and lastly, the reremouse, or bat. Beauseant. See Banner. Beaver, (fr. and lat. castor), occurs in the insignia of BEVERLEY, Yorkshire, and in other arms where the name suggests it; but it is used more frequently as a crest.

Vert, on a base barry of five argent and azure two beavers, rampant combatant or–Thomas BEVERIDG, co. Chester, 1595. Or, a fesse azure between lions rampant in chief gules, and a beaver passant in base proper–BEAVER. Argent, three beaver’s tails[erect] gules–BEAVER. Argent, a cross gules between four beavers passant proper–HUDSON BAY Company[Inc. 1670].

Beaver, or Beauvoir: the part of the Helmet which opens to shew the face. Bebally: a sword, now disused, for party per pale. Beckit: a bird resembling a Cornish chough, q.v.

BYE. Bee, (fr. abeille): is always represented flying, with wings extended, and generally upwards, and this is sometimes expressed by erect, but more correctly en arriere, i.e. flying away from the spectator. The Hornet also occurs on one coat.

Azure, three bees volant erect or–BYE. Azure, three bees volant en arriere argent–BYE. Sable, a chevron between three bees volant erect argent–SEWELL. Azure, on a fesse argent a bee volant arriere sable–DE VERTHON. Or, on a bend azure, three bees volant argent–BUTTERFIELD. Gironny of eight ermine and gules, on each of the last a bee volant argent–CAMPBELL, Gargamock. Sable, a hornet argent–BOLLARD.

ROWE. Bee-hive, (fr. ruche): this device was granted to a Cheshire family named ROWE during the Commonwealth, but was afterwards also granted to several other families. Both the bee and the bee-hive appear as crests.

Argent, a bee-hive, beset with bees diversely volant sable–ROWE. Argent, a bee-hive, beset with bees volant proper–TREWEEK, Cornwall. Ermine, a fesse sable between three bee-hives or–FRAYE. Argent, on a bee-hive sable a hart lodged argent, attired or–SANDELLAYER, Stafford.

Beech. Only one reference to this tree has been noticed.

Azure, an eagle displayed argent, in his beak a branch of beech or; on a chief of the last a rose between two crosses bottonny gules–BULLINGHAM, Bp. of Gloucester, 1581-89.

Beetle: possibly this is but an error of some writer, who has mistaken the flies for beetles(as the name of the bearer suggests); however, the stag beetles(lucanidœ of naturalists) occur.

Argent, a chevron vert between three beetles proper–MUSCHAMP. Per pale gules and azure, three stag beetle’s wings extended or–DOORE, Cornwall.

Beffroy, or Beffroy de vair: an old French term for vair. Belfry. See Bell. Belic: an old word, now disused, for gules.

Church Bell. Bell, (fr. cloche), or as it is sometimes called a Church bell, is a large bell of the usual form. Smaller bells of a different shape are attached to the legs of hawks and falcons, q.v., when they are said to be belled; also to necks of bulls, &c. (fr. clariné). When the clapper is of a different tincture it is to be so described(fr. bataillé). The cannon or ear may be also of a different tincture from the body or barrel of the bell.

Sable, three church bells argent–PORTER, Sable, a fesse ermine between three bells argent–BELL. Argent, three war bells gules–KEDMARSTON, co. Suffolk. Azure, a lion rampant guardant within an orle of bells argent, cannoned or–OSNEY, co. Lincoln. Sable, a doe passant between three bells argent–DOOBEL, Sussex, 1695. Argent, on a cross gules five bells of the first–SEDGEWICKE, Cambridge. Or, four bars sable; on three escutcheons argent as many church bells of the second, clappers of the first–HALL, Essex.

A belfry occurs as a crest to the family of PORTER, and in this a bell argent is represented as supported between two pillars roofed and spired or, and on the spire a vane of the last. Belled: is applied to a hawk, or falcon, having bells affixed to its legs(fr. grilletté); or to other animals, e.g. cows, sheep, &c. (fr. clariné). Bellows: these are of the usual form, and are borne with the pipes downwards.

Argent, three pair of bellows sable–SCIPTON.

Beloochee soldier. See Man.

Belt. Belt: this charge is but rarely borne, and usually only a small portion of the leather is shewn(as in the margin); hence it is often blazoned half a belt, and the buckles(fr. boucle) should be named as to position, tincture, &c. The belt worn over the shoulder, and crossing the chest and back, was termed anciently a baldrich or baudrick, and to the lower part was attached the sword. It is not borne by this name, but has been said, amongst other suppositions, to have been the origin of the bend.

Argent, a demy-belt fixed in fesse azure buckled edged and garnished or–BELTMAINE. Argent, three belts, the under parts couped in fesse azure, buckled and garnished or–NARBON. Gules, two pieces of belts[otherwise half-belts] palewise, in fesse, argent, the buckles erect in chief or–PELHAM.


COUGHTE? Bend, (fr. bande): the bend dexter is perhaps one of the most frequently used of Ordinaries, q.v., being a straight piece extending from the dexter corner to the opposite edge of the shield. It is said to derive its origin from the belt, baudrick or baldrick(Baltheus, Cingulum militare), which was once a mark of knighthood; other heralds, however, have seen in it the idea of a scaling-ladder. According to Legh and other heraldic writers, the bend should occupy one-third of the field when charged, and one-fifth when plain. In English arms the bend is always placed straight athwart the shield, and never bowed as in foreign arms: at the same time, in some late MSS. it is fancifully drawn with a curve, in order to represent the convexit