[B]y the law of Arms, a Coat-armor may be given to a woman.

– From Lacies Nobility by Sir John Ferne (1586), p78

It should be noted that this concession comes after several pages of Ferne’s herald character, Paradin, explaining that women may only bear their arms on lozenges because that shape, like women themselves, is poorly suited to the battlefield, and only a queen in her own right may use the traditional three-cornered shield shape.

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