Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry - M

Macle - (mak'l) The same as MASCLE.

Majesty - A term used to describe an eagle crowned and holding a scepter.

Maltese cross - A cross formed of four arrow heads meeting at the points. It was the badge of the Knights of Malta, and its eight points are said to symbolize the eight beatitudes.

Man - The full human figure is a rare bearing, but can be seen occasionally. When displayed naked, he is salvage; when clothed, habited.

Manche - [See MAUNCH.]

Mantiger - (man'-ti-ger) A monster with the body of a lion or tiger and a human face, usually with a scorpion's tail and long spiral horns. (Also written Mantichor and Manticor.)

Mantle - The cloak or robe behind the shield, sufficiently large to include the entire arms. Those of sovereigns are of gold doubled with ermine, and are called pavilions.

Mantling - [See MANTLE.]

Marchmont - One of the heralds of the Lord Lyon's Court, Scotland.

Marcassin - (mar-kas'-sin) [French.] A young wild boar.

Marined - (ma-reend') An animal having the lower part of the body like a fish.

Marquis - A nobleman of England, ranking next below a duke.

Mars - The name of the color gules (red) on the arms of sovereign princes.

Marshal - To dispose or arrange in order such coats of arms as have to be included in one shield.

Marshaling - The act of arranging two or more coats on one shield.

Martlet - (mart'-let) A fanciful bird somewhat resembling a swallow, but having short tufts of feathers in the place of legs. When used as a difference it denotes the fourth son.

Mascle - (mas'-kl) A lozenge-shaped bearing, perforated or vioded. When used in numbers it becomes masculy.

Massacre - (mas'-sa-ker) When the antlers of a stag are attached to a fragnemt of the skull bone it is called a massacre.

Masoned - (ma'-sond) Applied to a field or charge which is divided with lines resembling a wall or building of stones.

Maul - A heavy wooden hammer.

Maunch - (maunsch) A bearing representing a sleeve with long hanging ends.

Membered - A term applied to a bird when its legs are of a different tincture from that of the bird itself.

Merchant's marks - Certain marks or bearings used by merchants of England such as the block and brush (butchers' broom) of the Butcher's Company; the distillatory, of the Distillers' Company, etc. They are not to be considered strictly heraldic, but were protected by law, and are occasionally seen on merchants' tombs and in architecture.

Merlon - [See EMBATTLED.]

Metal - [For the four metals of heraldry see under TINCTURE.]

Millrind - A bearing supposed to represent the iron which holds a millstone by being set into its center.

Millrynd - [See MILLRIND.]

Miter - The headdress of a bishop, sometimes used as a charge, either singly or in numbers.

Mitry - (mi'try) Charged with eight miters. (Said of a bordure.)

Modulata - [See BOTTONY.]

Moline - [See Cross Moline, under CROSS.]

Moon - The moon in heraldry is always borne as a crescent, usually with the cavity upward. When the cavity is toward the dexter side of the shield, it is increscent; when toward the sinister, decrescent.

Mooted - Torn up by the roots; eradicated.

Morion - A steel cap; a kind of helmet, shaped something like a hat, and having no beaver or visor.

Morne - (mor'nay) Without teeth, tongue or claws.

Motto - A word or sentence carried on the scroll, and supposed to have some connection with the name of the bearer, the deeds of his ancestors or as setting forth some guiding principle or idea. Mottos, like arms, were sometimes punning, as Carendo tutus the motto of the Cavendishes; Ver non semper viret, of the Vernons. The Scotch borderers, whose chief delight in life seemed to be that of harrying their neighbors by moonlight, used stars and crescents for their arms and adopted such mottos as Watch weel (Halyborton) and Reparabit cornua Phoebe (Scott of Harden).

The motto is the succesor of the war-cry, which was common in the days when each chief tennant and baron under the crown brought into the field and led his own tennants and retainers. The royal cry of the English was "St. George for England;" the common Highland cry was "Claymore." while Seyton had "St. Bennett and Set on."

Mound - A ball or globe forming part of the regalia of a king or emperor. It is surmounted by a cross and represents sovereign authority.

Mount - The representation of a mound or hill, covered with grass, occupying the base of the shield. It is generally borne with a tree or trees on it. When depicted green it is blazoned as a mount vert.

MOUNT-GRECED - A mount cut in the form of steps.

MOUNT-MOUNTED - A mount with a hill upon it.

Mounted - 1. Applied to a horse when depicted bearing a rider. 2. When a cross or similar bearing is placed upon steps, as a cross mounted upon greces, or degrees.

Mullet - A bearing resembling a five-pointed star. It is sometimes called a spur rowel, but it was in use long before the rowelled spur. When used as a difference it denotes the third son.

Muraille - (mu-rail'-ley) Walled; masoned and embattled.

Murrey - (mur'-ry) The same as SANGUINE.

Muschetor - (mus'-che-tor) One of the arrow-headed marks used in depicting ermine, but without the three round dots employed in blazing that fur.

Musca - (mus'-ka) The common housefly. In some coats, however, this becomes a butterfly.

Musion - A cat.

Muzzled - Having a muzzle. Said of an animal, such as a bear, borne with a muzzle.

Back to Index

Back to Homepage