Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry - C

Cabled - The same as CABLEE.
"Cabled is applied to a cross formed of the two ends of a ship's cable; sometimes also to a cross covered over with rounds of rope; more properly called a cross corded." - Rees: Cyclopedia.

Cablee - A cross composed of two cable ends.

Caboched - See [CABOSHED.]

Caboshed - (ka-bosht') The head of a beast borne full-faced, and without any neck showing.
"Caboched, caboshed or cabossed . . . is where the head of a beast is cut off behind the ears by a section parallel to the face; or by a perpendicular section, in contradiction to couped, which is done by a horizontal line; besides that, it is farther from the ears than cabossing. The head, in this case, is placed full-faced, or affrontée;, so that no part of the neck can be visible. This bearing is by some called trunked." Rees: Cyclopedia.

Cabossed - [See CABOSHED.]

Cadence - (Ca'-dence) The different steps in the descent of a family.

Cadency - (Ca'-den-cy) As the original object of armorial bearings was to distinguish one iron encased warrior from another, it was also necessary to provide distinctive bearings for different members of a family all entitled to bear the paternal arms. This gave rise to the use of Marks of Cadency, or differences (called by the French brisure.) They are as follows:

1. Label

6. Fleur-de-lis

2. Crescent

7. Rose

3. Mullet

8. Cross Moline

4. Martlet

9. Octofoil

5. Annulet

The eldest son (during the lifetime of his father) bears a lable of three points; the second son, a crescent; the third, a mullet; the fourth, a martlet; the fifth, an annulet; the sixth, a fleur-de-lis; the seventh, a rose; the eight, a cross moline; the ninth, an octofoil. A younger son of a younger son places a mark upon a mark. Thus the ninth son of a ninth son would place an octofoil upon an octofoil.

Cadet - A younger brother; a junior branch of a family.

Calf - The Calf appears in heraldry occasionally. Le Vele of Tortworth bore "Argent, on a bend sable three calves or," and Calverley, "Argent, on a fess gules three calves or."

Calthrop - (Cal'-throp) An implement of war, four-spiked, and when thrown on the ground one point always stood upright. Also known as caltrop and chevaltrap.

Caltrap - [See CALTHROP.]

Calvary Cross - A cross mounted on three steps. The steps allude to the three Christian graces - Faith, Hope and Charity.

Camelopardel - (Cam-el-o-par'-del) An imaginary beast, with neck and head like a camel, spotted like a pard, with two straight horns similar to those of a giraffe.

Campane - (Cam-pa'ne) A bell; a bell shaped object.

Campaned - (Cam-pa'ned) Bearing bells, or furnished with bells. (Campane and Campaned are terms that are little used.)

Cannet - (Can'-net) A charge of ducks represented without beaks or feet.

Canting Arms - The same as Allusive Arms, which see, under ARMS.

Canton - (Can'-ton) A division of the field placed in the upper dexter corner. It is classed by some heraldic writers as one of the honorable ordinaries; but, strictly speaking, it is a diminutive of the Quarter, being two-thirds the area of that ordinary. However, in the roll of Henry III the quarter appears in several coats which in later rolls are blazoned as cantons. The canton, like the quarter, is an early bearing, and is always shown with straight lines.

CANTON SINISTER - A canton placed on the sinister side of the shield.

Cantoned - (Can'-toned) Applied to a shield in which the four spaces around a cross or saltier are filled with any pieces.

Cap of Maintenance - The cap of state carried before a sovereign at his coronation. Occasionally used as a bearing on a shield.

Cat - The cat figures in heraldry as the Musion, the Catamount, Cat-a-mountain, Wildcat and just plain cat.

The Keate family bore "Argent, three mountain cats passant in pale sable."

The musion was the emblem of Burgundy, and, according to a fable of the day, the arms of an imprisoned cat were granted to the knight who took prisoner Gundemar of Burgundy.

Catamount - [See CAT.]

Cat-a-mountain - [See CAT.]

Chabot - [See CHALBOT.]

Chafant - (Chaf'-ant) Applied to a boar when depicted as enraged.

Chain - The chain was borne by the kings of Navarre, the arms being blazoned: "Gules, a trellis of chains or, in cross saltire."

Chalbot - (shal'-bot) The heraldic name of the fish commonly known as Bullhead or Miller's Thumb.

Chamber - The Cylindrical part of ordnance is blazoned as Chamber. Example: "Three chambers sable, fired proper."

Champ - The field or ground of a field.

"The champe of his field was gules." - Lydgate

Champain - (Cham'-pain) A mark of dishonor in the coat of arms of one who has killed an opponent after he has asked for quarter.

Chancellor - A functionary in an order of knighthood. For example, the Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, who acts in the capacity of secretary of that order.

Chapeau - (shap'-o) A cap of state borne by a duke.

Chaperon - (shap'-er-on) An ornamental hood worn by the Knights of the Garter when in full dress.

Chaperonnet - (shap-er-on'-net) A small hood.

Chapournet - (shap-our'-net) A chaperonnet borne in arms dividing the chief by a bow-shaped line.

Chaplet - A garland or wreath; a head band of leaves borne in coats of arms in token of great military prowess. The chaplet made its first appearance in the roll of Edward II.

Charge - To place upon an escutcheon.

Charge - Anything occupying the field in an escutcheon. There are two kinds of charges - proper and common.

PROPER CHARGES - So called because they peculiarly belong to the art of heraldry. [See ordinary.]

COMMON CHARGES - Those charges which have been imported into heraldry from all quarters, representing an array of objects, natural and artificial, from reptiles and insects to human being and celestial figures.

"The charge is that which is borne upon the color, except it be a coat divided only by partition." - Peacham.

Charged - A charge placed upon the field.

Chausse - (sho'-say) This term denotes a section in base formed by a line from the extremity of the base ascending to the side of the escutcheon , joining it at about the base point.

Checky - (check'-y) A field divided into small squares, of different tinctures, resembling a chess board. Usually made up of seven squares in the top line, and in depth according to the length of the shield.

Checquy - [See CHECKY]

Chess-rook - A bearing which resembles the rook, or castle, in chess.

Chester - One of the heralds of the College of Arms.

Cheval Trap - [See CALTHROP.]

Chevalier - (shev'-a-lier) A horseman armed at all points.

Cheveron - (shev'-ron) - One of the honorable ordinaries. It is rafter shaped, and its breadth is one-fifth of the field. Its diminutives are the Chevronel, which is one-fifth of its breadth; and the Couple-close, one-quarter.

CHEVRON COUPED - Applied to a chevron which does not reach the sides of an escutcheon.

CHEVRON IN CHIEF - One which rises to the top of the shield.

Chevronel - (shev'-ron-el) A diminutive of the chevron, being half its breadth.

Chevrounne - [See CHEVRONNY.]

Chevronny - (shev'-ron-ny) A shield laid out in partitions chevronwise.

Chief - The head or upper part of the shield, containing a third of the field, and is divided off by one line, either straight or crenellé (indented). When one chief is borne upon another it is called surmounting.

IN CHIEF - Anything borne in the chief.

ON CHIEF - When the chief is charged with anything.

Chief Point - The uppermost part of the shield, and can be either dexter, middle or sinister.

Chimæra - (ki-me'-ra) A modification of some existing animal, such as the winged lion of St. Mark, the dragon, etc.

Cough - (shuff) [See AYLET.]

Cinquefoil - (sink'-foil) A five pointed leaf; usually borne without a stem.

Clarenceux - (Clar'-en-saw) The title of the second King-of-Arms. He ranks next to Garter.

Clarion - (klar'-i-un) An instrument somewhat resembling a trumpet. The clarion borne by Granville, however, resembles the pan-pipe.

Cleche - (clay'-shay) A cross charged with another of the same design, but having the same color as the field, leaving only a narrow border of the first cross visible. (Can be used of other bearings.) [Compare with VOIDED.]

Clouee - (klu'ay) [French.] Said of the fretty when nailed at the joints.

Close - The wings of a bird close to the body.

Closed - Applied to a bird borne with wings folded close to the body.

Closet - A diminutive of the bar, being one-quarter the breadth of that bearing.

Closeted - Inclosed within closets; supplied with closets.

Coambulant - Walking together.

Coat - Coat of arms, Coat-Armor, Cote-Armure, etc. - Originally armorial bearings were embroidered on the surcoat of the wearer. The term is now used for the escutcheon, or shield, when arms are displayed. [For further information on coats of arms see ARMS.]

Cock - This fowl is generally borne as a crest, but occasionally appears on the shield. When the beak, comb, wattles and spur are given, he is said to be beaked, wattled (or jewlapped) and armed.

Cockatrice - A fabulous animal supposed to have been produced from a cock's egg hatched by a serpent. [See BASILISK.]

Co-erectant - (co-erect'-ant) Applying to things set up side by side.

Coeur - The heart of the shield. The same as the center or fess point.

Cognizance - [See BADGE.]

Collar - An ornament for the neck worn by a knight or other member as a badge of that order.

Collared - The same as GORGED.

College of Arms - (Or Herald's College) is located on Queen Victoria street, E. C. , London, a royal corporation founded by King Richard III. It consists at present of the Earl Marshall, his secretary, a Registrar, three Kings at Arms - Garter, Clarenceux and Norry - and the following Heralds: Chester, Lancashire, York, Somerset, Richmond and Windsor. There are also four Pursuivants - Rouge Croix, Bluemantle, Rouge Dragon and Portcullis - besides various other officers. This institution determines all questions relating to arms and grants of armorial bearings. The office of Earl Marshal is now hereditary, being held by the Dukes of Norfolk. The corresponding college for Scotland is known as Lyon Court, and that of Ireland Office of Arms.

Color - For the colors of heraldry see TINCTURE.

Combatant - (con'-bat-ant) A term applied to beasts borne face to face, as in the attitude of fighting. (Also written Combattant.)

Community - Arms of Community [See under ARMS.]

Companion - A term applied to a certain grade of members in some of the knightly orders, as, a Companion of the Bath.

Companionship - The rank of a knight companion of certain orders.

Compartment - The partitions and quarterings of the escutcheon according to the coat in it.

Compone - [See COMPONY.]

Componed - [See COMPONY.]

Compony - (con-po'ny) A border, bend, etc., composed of a row of squares consisting of colors and metals. (Sometimes written componé.)

COMPONY COUNTER-COMPONY - The same as above, but arranged in two rows.

Composed - Arms Composed are the addition by a gentleman to his own armorial bearings of a portion of those borne by his wife. The practice is now obsolete, the device of marshalling the arms of one's wife with his own having rendered its continuance unnecessary. (Gloss. of Her.)

Concaved - When ordinaries, etc., are bowed in the form of an arch they are sometimes referred to as concaved.

Concession - Arms of Concession. [See under ARMS.]

Confronte - (kon'-frun'-tay') Face to face; two animals facing each other.

Conger - (kon'-ger) An eel. Specifically, the large sea eel found on the coast of Britain.

Contourne - (kon'-toor'-nay') [French.] Turned in a direction not the usual one. Applied to a lion or other animal statant, passant, courant, etc., with its face to the sinister side of the escutcheon. (Some writers use the word "counter" in this sense.)

Contre - (con'-tre) [French.] Used in composition, to describe several bearings when they cut the shield in a contrary and opposite manner. Example: Contre-chevron, alluding to two chevrons opposite to each other - where color opposes metal and metal opposes color.

Contey - (co'-ney) This is the heraldic rabbit. (Also written cony, coni, conni and conig.)

Corbeau - The same as CORBIE.

Corbie - (kor'-by) A raven; a crow. (Also written CORBY.)

Corby - The same as CORBIE.

Cordal - (cord'-al) A string of the robe of state, composed of silk and gold threads, twisted like a cord, and having a tassel at the end.

Corded - Bound or wound round with cords.

Cordon - (cor'-don) A ribbon worn across the breast by knights of some orders.

Cork - One of the herald's of the Office of Arms, Ireland.

Corned - When the horns of a beast, such as the bull, are of a different tincture from that of the body he is then said to be corned of that tincture. [See ARMED 3.]

Cornished - (corn'-ished) Adorned with a cornish or molding.

Coronet - An inferior sort of crown worn by nobles. The Prince of Wales coronet consists of a circle of gold, jeweled, edged above with four crosses patée and as many fleur-de-lis, and closed with four bars and an orb and cross. A duke's coronet is bordered with eight strawberry leaves; that of a marquis with four, alternating with four pearls; that of an earl has eight strawberry leaves alternating with eight pearls; the viscount uses pearls only, but of an indefinite number, while the baron is restricted to four pearls only.

The bishops of England have no coronet, but ensign their arms with a mitre.

Cost - One of the subordinaries, being a diminutive of the bend. When borne in pairs, it is called Cottise.

Cotise - [See COTTISE.]

Cotised - [See COTTISED.]

Cottise - (cot'-tise) The same as COST.

Cottised - (cot'-tised) A term applied to ordinaries when borne between two cottises.

Couchant - (couch'-ant) Applied to an animal lying down, with head raised..

This term differs from dormant in that in the latter sense the beast is represented sleeping.

Couche - (coo-shey') [French.] Said of anything lying sideways, as a chevron couche -- a chevron placed sideways.

Counter - In an opposite direction; contrary to the usual position. Sometimes used to denote an animal facing the sinister side of the shield. [In this sense see Contourné.]

COUNTER-ATTIRED - Applied to the double horns of animals when borne two one way and two another -- in opposite directions.

COUNTER-CHEVRONNE - Chevronny divided palewise. (Said of the field.) The equivalent of chevronné, of chevronny.

COUNTER-COMPONY - A border, bend, etc., which is composed of two rows of checkers of alternate tinctures.

COUNTER-COUCHANT - Animals borne couchant, their heads being in opposite directions.

COUNTER-COURANT - Said of two animals borne courant, and with their heads in opposite directions.

COUNTER-EMBATTLED - Applied to an ordinary embattled on both sides.

COUNTER-ERMINE - The contrary of ermine, being a black field with white spots. {See Ermines.}

COUNTER-FLEURY - A term used to show that the flowers adorning an ordinary stand opposite to each other.

COUNTER-PASSANT - Applied to two animals borne passant going in contrary ways.

COUNTER-POTENCE - Said of potences when placed opposite each other.

COUNTER-QUARTERED - When each quarter of an escutcheon is again quartered.

COUNTER-SALIENT - Applied to two animals borne salient in opposite directions.

COUNTER-TRIPPANT - Animals trippant in opposite directions.

COUNTER-TRIPPING - The same as Counter-Trippant.

COUNTER-VAIR - A variety of vair, in which the cups or bells are arranged base to base and point to point.

COUNTER-VAIRY - The same as Counter-Vair.

Counterchanged - A term which denotes that the field is of two tinctures, metal and color; that part of the charge which lies in the metal being of color, and that part which lies in the color being metal.

Counterpaled - A term used of an escutcheon which is divided into an equal number of pieces palewise by a line fesswise, the tinctures above and below the fess line being counterchanged.

Counterpointe - (-point-é) Made use of to describe two chevrons which meet with their points in the center of the shield, counter to each other. (The French use contrepointé.)

Couped - (koop'd) Said of an animal having the head or any limb cut clean off from the body.

A head couped is a head having the appearance of being cut off with a sharp knife.

Couple-Close - One of the diminutives of the chevron, being one-quarter the breadth of that ordinary. It is borne in pairs, inclosing the chevron. (Sometimes written couple-closs.)

Couple-Closed - Inclosed by the couple-close; as, "A chevron couple-closed."

Coward - Said of beasts represented with the tail between the legs.

Crampit - The cramp-iron of a scabbard.

Cramponee - (cramp-on'-ay) A cross having at each end a cramp or crampoon.

Crenellated - (cre'-nel-la-ted) An ordinary indented as with crenelles.

Crescent - A bearing resembling the half moon with the points turned up. When used as a mark of cadency it denotes the second son.

When the points of the crescent face dexter it is increscent; toward sinister, decrescent.

Crest - Originally the crest was the ornament of the helmet, or headpiece, and also afforded protection against a blow. In the early rolls it was scarcely noticed, but in later armorial grants it came into general use. Crests, like arms, were sometimes allusive. Thus, Grey of Wilton used a gray, or badger, and Lord Wells a bucket and chain. In the early days of the crest it was confined to persons of rank, but in later times it has been included in every grant of arms.

A coronet or helmet below the crest is not a mark of rank.

Crined - Used to describe an animal having its hair of a different tincture.

Croisant - (crois'-ant) A cross the ends of which terminate in crescents.

Cross - One of the earliest and noblest of the honorable ordinaries. When borne plain it is blazoned simply as a cross. There are, however, more than a hundred varieties, some of the better known being the following:


















CROSS ANCHORED - A cross in which the limbs terminate in anchors.

CROSS AVELLANE - Ending in filbert husks.

CROSS BEZANT - A cross composed of bezants joined together.

CROSS BOTTANY - With the limbs terminating in budlike prominences.

CROSS CABLEE - A cross made up of two cables.

CROSS CORDED - A cross bound or wound round with cords. (This term is sometimes applied, though erroneously, to the Cablée.)

CROSS CLECHE - A cross charged with another cross, of the same color of the field, so large that only a narrow border of the first cross remains visible.

CROSS CROSSLET - A cross having the three upper ends terminating in three little crosses. It is usually borne in numbers, but this is not always the case.

CROSS FITCHEE - Sharpened at the lower part; pointed like a dagger. The arms of the See of Canterbury represent four crosses patée fitchée.

CROSS FLEURY - Adorned at the ends with flowers, generally the fleur-de-lis.

CROSS FOURCHEE - Having the ends forked as branches, with the ends terminating abruptly, as if cut off.

CROSS FORMEE - Resembling the cross patée, but differing in that its extremities reach the edge of the field.

CROSS MOLINE - So called because its shape resembles a millrind (the iron clamp of the upper millstone). It is borne both inverted and rebated, and sometimes saltirewise or in saltire. When used as a mark of cadency it represents the eighth son.

CROSS OF CALVARY (or Cross of the Crucififixion) - Represented mounted on three steps.

CROSS OF ST. GEORGE - A plain red cross on a white field. It would be blazoned "Argent, a cross gules."

CROSS PATEE - The emblem of the Knights of St. John, and is known as the Croix de Malthe. It spreads out at the ends.

CROSS PATONCE - This has expanded ends like the cross patée, but each terminates in three points.

CROSS POMMEE - With the ends terminating in single balls.

CROSS POTENT - One which has its ends T-shaped, or resembling a crutch. (Also written potence.)

CROSS RAGULY - A notched or jagged cross.

CROSS RECERCELEE - A cross whose ends are split and curled outward. It is usually voided.

CROSS URDEE - Differs from an ordinary cross only in that the extremities are drawn to a sharp point instead of being cut straight.

CROSS VOIDED - A cross in outline only.

Cross-bar - Sometimes used to designate the bar sinister; a mark of illegitimacy.

Crossbow - [See ARBLAST.]

Crossed - Borne crosswise.

Crosswise - In the figure of a cross. (Essentially the same as CROSSED.)

Crown - The crown of a sovereign prince is usually closed at the top by four arched bars, called diadems, and surmounted by a globe and cross.

A crown placed below the crest does not denote the rank of the bearer.

IRON CROWN - A crown which, besides its gold and jewels, contains a thin circle of iron, said to have been made from a nail of Christ's cross. It was first used at the coronation of the Lombard kings in A.D. 591. Napoleon I was crowned with it in Milan in 1805.

Crowned - Surmounted by a crown. Sometimes a beast, generally the lion, is crowned royally or ducally.

Crucilly - (cru'sil-ly) Said of a charge or field strewn with crosses.

Crusade - One of the several expeditions of Christian knights against the Mohammedans in the Holy Land. There were seven distinct crusades.

Crusader - One who took part in the crusades.

Cubit Arm - An arm cut off at the elbow.

Cuppa - (kup'-pa) A fur composed of any metal and color. Also called Potent-counter-potent.

Currant - The same as courant.

Curvant - (kurv'-ant) Curved; bowed.

Cygnet royal - (sig'-net) A swan gorged with a ducal coronet, and a chain attached thereto, being reflexed over the back.

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