There are many heraldic charges and I don’t propose to work my way through a list of them at this precise moment. However, I have written about quite a few of them over the years. So, taking a Late medieval and Tudor theme before we move on to quarterings lets get started:
- Which Tudor queen used a personal device of a crowned falcon?
- Which Tudor queen’s arms featured a pomegranate?
- Whose coat of arms depicted a portcullis?
- What kind of dog was a supporter for the Tudor coat of arms.
- If you went to Hampton court you might find a panther – whose royal supporter was this?
- Whose heraldic device featured a black bull?
- And what about a white boar – or more correctly a silver boar as white isn’t a heraldic colour.
- What is depicted in the image – Richard of York used this with a falcon on his arms.
Labeling- The eldest son was permitted to carry his father’s arms after his father’s death. During the father’s life time a label was attached to the coat of arms of the son. After the father’s death the label was dropped.
differencing – younger sons were not allowed to carry their father’s coat of arms. Instead they had to make some permanent difference to it. They could change the colour, add a boarder, stick in a new charge or else combine it with their wife’s coat of arms. In time a regular system for differencing developed. The second son added a crescent, ht third a mullet, the fourth a martlets, the fifth a ring, the sixth a fleur-de-lis, the seventh a a rose and the eighth cross moline. over time the coat of arms gets more crowded as each successive generation apart from the eldest son of the eldest son was required to continue differencing….it can also be called cadencing. As you might expect the system doesn’t always work particularly neatly because it evolved.
Impaling – essentially if a man entitled to bear arms married a woman whose family carried arms their shared coat of arms – theirs arms could be impaled – the field would be divided in half along the vertical. The husbands arms are displayed on the dexter half and the woman’s arms are displayed on the sinister half. before marriage a woman would be denoted by her father’s arms alone.
A son might quarter his coat of arms – divide the shield into 4 and add his father’s coat of arms on the top left and bottom right section of the shield and his mother’s on the top right and bottom left – the arms were the arms from both sides of the family inherited by their owner. So far so good – just remember that there can be many quarterings where a family has married many heiresses. So you can have a quarterly of ten or however many coats of arms you are entitled to. See the Heraldry Society’s explanation and a rather wonderful coat of arms:
9. Identify which of these arms has a label, which is impaled and which is quartered.
10. Which one of these coats of arms belongs to Eleanor of Castile and which one belongs to Edward I’s younger son Edmund of Woodstock?