Sect. III. Essential Parts of Arms

THE Parts of Arms are, The Escocheon,
and The Ornaments without the Escocheon.

PARAGRAPH 1. An Escocheon is the Form of a Shield, of what Kind soever, so call’d of the Latin Word Scutum, which signifes the same thing. It consists of page xvii Points, and Abatements.

Diatriba 1. Points, which are Nine, and denominate the several Parts of the Escocheon; the Knowledge of which (as you will find hereafter) is of absolute Necessity. They are as follows,

shield labeled with points A

 } is called {

The Dexter Chief

 } point

B Precise middle Chief
C Sinister Chief
D Honour
E Fesse
F Nombril
G Dexer Base
H Exact middle Base
I Sinister Base

Diat. 2. An Abatement is an accidental Mark annexed to Coat-Armour, denoting some ungentlemanlike, dishonourable or disloyal Demeanor, whereby the Dignity of the Coat-Armour is greatly debased. They are these Nine.

[shield with shaded square inset]

He beareth Argent, a Delse, Tenne: This is due to him that revoketh his Challenge, or eateth his Words.

[shield with inset inverted shield shape]

He beareth Or, an Escocheon reversed, Sanguine: This is given to him that discourtously useth a Maid or Widow, against her Will; or flies from his Sovereign’s Banner.

page xviii [shield with top left corner shaded]

He beareth Argent, a Point dexter parted: Given to a meer Braggadochio.

[handwritten insertion before Given: Sanguine]

[shield with curved triangular shaded area with point in centre, extending downwards to fill the bottom third of the shield

He beareth Or, a Point in Point, Sanguine: Which is due to one that does not demean himself well in Fight.

[shield with bottom fifth or so shaded, top of shaded area is an arc with lowest point in the middle ]

He beareth Or, a Point Champaigne, Tenne. A Diminution due to one that kills his Prisoner.

[shield with bottom fifth or so shaded, top of shaded area is flat and horizontal]

He beareth Or, a a Plain Point, Sanguine. The Mark of a Tale-Bearer and Liar.

[shield with cresting wave shaded,but shaded area is from bottom centre to top right]

He beareth Argent, a Goare sinister, Tenne. The Reward of a Coward.

Note. A Dexter Goare is not an Abatement, tho’ it should happen to be of a Stainand Colour. page xix

[shield with both sides shaded, leaving a sort of thick-stemmed martini glass unshaded in the centre from top to bottom]

He beareth Argent, two Gussets, Sanguine. In Abatement there can be but one Gusset; and he that is given to Lust shall wear it on the right Side, a Drunkard on the left. But two Gussets together do not imply a Disgrace, several Families bearing them, particularly that of Conningham, who bear Sable, two Gussets Argent.

Note. All the above Marks of Diminution, must be Sanguine or Tenne, which are Stainand Colours.

2. When you find two or more of ’em in an Escocheon, it is not by way of Abatement, but Charge.

3. Judge the same (tho’ single) if they be of any Metal, or charg’d upon.

The last (and worst) kind of Abatement, is call’d Reversing, and that is, when the whole Escocheon is turned upside down, contrary to the usual Form of bearing: This is never given but to the finish’d Traitor.

The Second Paragraph of this Section will be spoken to in the next Chapter.