more medieval animals -supporters, sigils, charges and livery badges

I’m changing tack slightly this evening having skipped through bestiaries and peered into menageries it’s now time to take a look at medieval royal animals in heraldic terms. Supporters usually appear in pairs holding a shield up. Charges are depicted on the shield and a sigil is the symbol that appears on a seal. Livery badges were personal devices. Hope this isn’t too boaring…

Yup – tonight its the turn of the white boar which was used by Richard, Duke of Gloucester who ascended the throne as King Richard III. It’s not entirely certain why Richard used a boar by preference. It is often suggested that it was a play on Ebor or York. Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, used a white boar as well but her livery badge was chained and muzzled and was in fact associated with the earldom of Warwick. It has even been suggested that Richard chose this symbol when he was little more than a child based on the carvings at St Mary and All Saints at Fotheringhay.

A quick search of the Internet reveals plenty of white boar related posts – so I’ll keep this one short. Richard’s boar turns up on his standard, as supporters in the York Minster, as a badge and on livery collars. It even turns up as graffiti (Carlisle Castle).

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