Sect. I. Of the Disposition of divers Coat-Armours in one Shield (or Escocheon) which is the first Part of Marshalling.

COat-Armours of different Families, are Marshalled in one Escocheon, on Accounts, Manifest or Obscure.

The Manifest Reasons are, (I.) Marriages. (II.) The Gift of the Sovereign.

(I.) Under the First Head we must observe, That sometimes only two Coats are born together, conjoined Paleways in one Escocheon, and this is called Baron and Femme; concerning which take the following Notes.

1. The Arms of the Man are always to be placed on that Side of the Escocheon which lies to your left Hand, for in Heraldry that is the Right (or Dexter) Side.

If a Man do marry two Wives, he shall bear his Shield per Pale, on the Sinister Side his two Wives Coats, the first in Chief, the second in Base. If three Wives, the two first shall have the Chief Part, the third all the Base. If he have a fourth Wife, she must participate of the Base, with the third Wife.

I remember to have seen in some Author, and Exmaple of a Baron impal’d between his two Femmes, viz. page xxix the first Wife on his Dexter, the second on the Sinister; but I cannot find that such a Form of Marshalling is common or commendable.

2. No Man can (legally) impale his Wife’s Arms with his own, unless such Wife was an Heiress.

Nevertheless, Custom has so far prevail’d, that all who have married Women whose Parents bore Arms, do joyn their Wives Arms with their own. Whether they ought to do so, or not, I leave to be decided by such skilful Heralds, whose Province ’tis determine things of this Nature.

3. In the Arms of all Femmes, joyn’d to the Paternal Coat of the Baron, the proper Differences by which they were born by the Fathers of such Women, must be inserted.

4. If a Coat-Armour that is Bordered, be joyn’d in Pale with another, as a Marriage, then shall that Part of the Border, (whether of the baron or Femme’s Coat) which is next to the other, be wolly omitted.

Note here; That all Archbishops and Bishops do bear their own Arms thus imapl’d with that of their See, only, Honoris Causa the Dexter side is given to the See. Also Note; That the Bishop of Winchester being always Prelate of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, has the whole of his Arms inviron’d by the Garter, as tho’ he were a Knight Companion.

The Kings at Arms do also sometimes marshall the Arms of their respective Office, with their Paternal, taking the Sinister Side to themselves.

2. Unto this Head also must be referr’d the Escocheon of Pretence; and herein the Person that marries an Heiress, has a Priviledge above others; for after Issue receiv’d by such Wife, he is at Liberty whether he will continue to bear her Arms impal’d, or on an Escocheon of Pretence, in the Centre of his own Coat or Coats.

An Escocheon of Pretence is so call’d, because he that bears it does pretend (God willing) to maintain in his Family, the Inheritance receiv’d by his Wife.

page xxx3. The Eldest Son of such a Match as is just mention’d, doth bear the Arms both of his Father and of his Mother, Quarterly, i. e. twice each; and that because he is heir to the Inheritance of both as well as to ehri Arms. There are some Examples of this Kind in the following Sheets, as that of Ld. Arundel, Mr. Walker, and others.

(II.) Under the second head, viz. Such Forms of Marshalling as manifestly betoken a Sovereign Gift, are those given of special Favouor, or Renumeration of Service.

Of the first Sort are all such Armorial-Signs as the Sovereign thinks fit (for the Honour of the Bearer) to annex to a Coat-Armour: Which are marshall’d Paleways or otherwise. In all such as are plac’d Paleways, the Dexter Side (ob Reverentiam Munificentiæ Regalis) is to be given to the added Coat.

Those marshall’d otherwise, have the whole Sovereign Ensigns, or a Part of them, in or upon some Part of their Escocheon. His Grace the D. of Somerset bears Or, on a Pile Gules between six Fleurs de Lis Azure, 3 Lions of England. His Grace the Duke of Beaufort bears, Quarterly France and England, within a Border compone, Argent and Azure. Other Examples may be observ’d in reading.

Among such Augmentations as these, we may add, the Baronet’s Mark, or Arms of the Province of Ulster in Ireland, which was granted to them by King James I. who began this Dignity, and for certain Monies paid toward the Plantation of the said Province, created divers into it. The Arms are, Argent, a Sinister Hand couped, Gules.

The second Kind, which are given for Remuneration [sic] of Service, to such as are imploy’d in Warfare, or in Civil Affairs, are 1st. Such Badges as belong to the several Orders of Knighthood, every Companion having Right to joyn them with his Paternal Coat.

2dly. He that takes Prisoner in lawful Wars, some General Admiral, or other Person of Note, has sometimes page xxxithe Arms of his Prisoner joyn’d to his own, in a Canton or otherwise; where note, that in blazoning such Additament, ’tis no Fault to repeat the Names of Tinctures, &c. used in the Coat.


Hitherto the Occasions of Marshalling divers Coat-Armours in one Shield, are manifest; now I come to treat of such as be obscure, that is, when Hereditary Coats are so Marshall’d, as that the Beholder cannot give any probable Conjecture why they are so join’d, and often cannot tell whether they are two Coats or but one.

Upton gives the two differing Rules, both for discovering and ordering things of this Nature.

He says, ‘When a Man has large Posessions by his Mother, and little by his Father, he may bear his Mother’s Arms on the nether part of the Shield, and his Father’s on a Chief.

Again, ‘It is certainly the best way of bearing divers Arms in one Escocheon, to marshal one as an entire Coat, the other on a Bend, &c. But these two are disliked by many Armorists, who reckon them Conceited Forms.

The like may be said concerning that odd Form of marshalling the baron’s Arms, viz. Paleways between his two Wives, of which Blome has an Example.