[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.
Blazon: Party of nine; I argent a cross of Calatrava* gules surmounted by a castle triple-towered or, windowed azure (Daimiel); II argent a letter M gules between two locks in base, bendwise and bendwise sinister sable, ensigned with a mural crown or, windowed of the third, in chief three trees eradicated proper fructed of the second (Manzanares); III vert a castle triple-towered or, windowed gules; IV argent a cross of Calatrava* gules surmounted by a castle triple-towered or, windowed azure, between two locks in base bendwise and bendwise sinister sable (Almagro); V argent a cross flory fitchy gules; in dexter chief and sinister base, two escutcheons or, four palets gules, in sinister chief a castle triple-towered or, windowed azure, in dexter base a lion rampant purpre, armed and langued gules, crowned or (Villanueva de los Infantes); VI per quarterly i gules a castle triple-towered or, windowed azure, ii argent a lion rampant gules, crowned or, iii argent a cross of Calatrava gules, iv gules two hammers in saltire or, in the fess point an escutcheon azure three fleurs-de-lis or within a bordure gules (Almadén); VII per pale argent a cross of Calatrava gules and chequy of sable and the first within a bordure of the second charged with eight saltires couped or, pointé in base of the second, a barrel of the fourth (Valdepeñas); VIII argent on a Maltese cross umbrated an escutcheon azure, ona base a castle triple-towered or, windowed of the field, being charged by a knight proper mounted on a horse saliant argent, armored and bearing a sword also proper, his shield and banner gules a cross argent (Alcázar de San Juan); IX per quarterly i gules a cross of Calatrava gules, ii gules a castle triple-towered or, windowed azure, iii argent a tree growing from a base, all proper; iv argent on a hill above a lake in base proper, a tower or windowed sable; overall in the fess point an escutcheon azure, the figure of a king proper on his throne under an arch or supported by two columns argent, within a hexagonal wall of the second, door gules; all within a bordure of the last, eight castles triple-towered of the second, windowed of the field (Ciudad Real)
*A cross couped with the ends terminating in fleurs-de-lis; emblem of the Order of Calatrava, an order of monks-turned-warriors founded in 1157
From Inquiries into the Process and Origin of the Science of Heraldry in England by James Dalloway, p130
Engraving of Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, standing over the beheaded corpse of Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, 1330. Taken from the Rous Rolls. Gaveston’s shield bears his arms (vert six eaglets displayed or, 3, 2, and 1). Beauchamp’s banner, which is possibly sable an orle argent, is not his coat of arms; it may be a mark of cadency.
historia-polski: Grand Standard Bearer of the Polish Crown (Chorąży Wielki Koronny), Sebastian Sobieski, at the wedding procession of King Zygmunt III Waza of Poland and Sweden, as painted anonymously on the Stockholm Roll (c. 1605). The standard bears the image … Continue reading →