Arms of Chesne

From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586) p241

Blazon: Azure an oak tree eradicated vert

Ferne has some stern words for arms such as these that do not obey the law of tincture: “if they be not both agreeing with the conformity and seemly observance of Blazon & Armory, & also approved by the King of the province… the said coats be no Arms, by the strict sentence of law: and the bearers thereof are not thereby made Gentle or Noble, since that they have not borne the ensigns of Gentry, but the signs of Merchants, Carters, or the like unnoble persons.”


The blank escocheon denotes argent; the dotted, or; the perpendicular line gules; the horizontal azure; the crossed line sable, the dexter diagonal vert and the sinister purpre.

-From Inquiries into the Origin and Progress of the Science of Heraldry in England by James Dallaway, p476 (1793)

(The above describes the system of representing heraldic devices in black and white, known as tricking.)

Colours and furs of particular kinds were appropriated to those who had entered the order [of knighthood]; ermine, sable, meniver, and all costly furs were kept for them.- Scarlet lined with ermine was particularly honourable; all reds were knightly colours.- Green was peculiar to knights errant, and sometimes bannerets.

From Historical Anecdotes of Heraldry and Chivalry by Susanna Dawson Dobson, p240

Gold, then, betokens wisdom, justice, riches, and elevation of mind. Compounded with silver, it signifies victory over all infidels, Turks, and Saracens; with gules, a disposition to shed one’s blood to acquire riches; and with azure, a disposition to keep what one gets.

-From The Curiosities of Heraldry by M. A. Lower

(Lower, it should be said, finds the complicated symbolism of combined colors and metals somewhat ridiculous, though he reproduces the entire table of correspondances.)

Of Sable the derivation is very uncertain. It seems unlikely to have been taken from the colour of the diminutive animal now known by this name, first, because it would then rank under the category of furs; and, secondly, because that animal is far from black… Guillim derives it from sabulum, gross sand or gravel, but this seems very improbable, although I have nothing better to substitute.

From The Curiosities of Heraldry by M. A. Lower

Vert (French) is light green. This word was applied at an early period ‘to every thing,’ says Cowell, ‘that grows and bears a green leaf within the forest that may cover and hide a deer.’

From The Curiosities of Heraldry by M. A. Lower

Azure- light blue, is a French corruption of the Arabic word lazur or lazuli. The lapis lazuli is a copper or, very compact and hard, which is found in detached lumps, of an elegant blue colour, and to it the artist is indebted for his beautiful ultra-marine.

From The Curiosities of Heraldry by M. A. Lower