Marshalling

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Martin Goldstraw
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Marshalling

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 31 Oct 2012, 14:27

Comments are invited on the marshalling seen here in example 1(a):

http://www.library.nd.edu/rarebooks/dig ... le_1.shtml
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steven harris
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Re: Marshalling

Postby steven harris » 31 Oct 2012, 15:38

Interesting to keep the first wife's arms as an impalement while the second wife's arms are in-pretence.

All in all, they are not bad arms.
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Ton de Witte
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Re: Marshalling

Postby Ton de Witte » 01 Nov 2012, 08:18

strange you would think that the arms of the first wife would be dropped when the second came along.
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Ryan Shuflin
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Re: Marshalling

Postby Ryan Shuflin » 01 Nov 2012, 08:23

it is kinda awkward for the new wife, don't you think?

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Re: Marshalling

Postby Iain Boyd » 01 Nov 2012, 09:46

Interesting that the motto in the original bookplate is a punning one.

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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: Marshalling

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 01 Nov 2012, 10:36

steven harris wrote:Interesting to keep the first wife's arms as an impalement while the second wife's arms are in-pretence.
All in all, they are not bad arms.


Ton de Witte wrote:strange you would think that the arms of the first wife would be dropped when the second came along.


The more I think about this, the more I believe that the arms of the first wife should be dropped in favour of the second. It might very well matter to the children of the first marriage, who would want to quarter the arms of both parents, but any children of the second marriage would not want (nor be entitled) to quarter the arms of a woman (family) to which they have no connection.

A man's arms might very well change many times during his lifetime as he progresses. If he were to impale his arms with those of an institution, he would not include his wife's as well. If he then went on to a different institution, he would not include the arms of the previous institution.

Marriages are, after all, of a limited duration - "while we both shall live". Once one or the other spouse dies so does the marriage. It is arguable that this armiger is not entitled to display the arms of his deceased (or divorced) first wife at all, although the children of the union would.

We often see on hatchments, the arms of all the wives of a dead armiger, but that is often done to be a memorial and historical record. Not a working coat of arms. And although, hatchments can be quite beautiful in their own right, I think the majority fall into the 'not good' grading of heraldry.
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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: Marshalling

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 01 Nov 2012, 13:54

Chas, you have it entirely correct .... by modern thinking.

Fox-Davies (Art of Heraldry) says that "All the old armorists provide ways of impaling at one and the same time the arms of several wives, and consequently the idea has grown up that it is permissible and correct to bear and use the arms of two wives at the same time. This is a mistake, because, strictly and technically speaking, the right to impale the arms of a wife ceases at her death. Impalement means marriage, and when the marriage is dissolved the impalement becomes meaningless, and should be discontinued. A man cannot be married to two people at one time, nor can he as a consequence impale two coats of arms at the same time."

Fox-Davies goes on to discuss the escutcheon of pretence and comes to the same conclusion - that when the wife is dead he ceases to pretend to represent the the family of his wife and that coat of arms then goes to his wife's heir, her son, or passes elsewhere.

The exception to the multi impaled arms is that of monuments and memorials (hatchments) which are a sort of armorial family tree.

See The Art of Heraldry pages 366 to 369.
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Peter Harling
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Re: Marshalling

Postby Peter Harling » 02 Nov 2012, 18:43

While this is obviously wrong in heraldic practice, I do wonder; this being an image taken from an engraved bookplate; whether due to expense or convenience the engraver or customer has taken the short cut and slotted in the shield of pretense, rather than go to the expense of re cutting a new plate. Just a theory!
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JMcMillan
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Re: Marshalling

Postby JMcMillan » 02 Nov 2012, 19:34

Just because F-D says it...

Are we sure this is wrong ? The 1867 edition of Boutell explicitly says "A widower who marries again bears the arms of both his wives." And going back further, Guillim's chapter on marshalling shows several instances where a man has marshalled the coats of two or more wive: (a) with the husband's arms in dexter and the sinister tierced per fess with the arms of three different wives; (b) two examples with the shield tierced per fess, the man's arms in the middle, the first wife to dexter, and the second to sinister; (c) the arms of Sir Gervase Clifton, with his arms on the center tierce, the dexter one quartered per fess, with the 1st through 4th wives' arms top to bottom, the sinister tierced per fess, with the arms of wives 5, 6 and 7.

As someone once observed, Fox-Davies had a habit of stating as fact things he thought logically should be fact, whether or not the practice actually was as he wished it to be.
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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: Marshalling

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 03 Nov 2012, 09:24

JMcMillan wrote:Just because F-D says it...


As someone once observed, Fox-Davies had a habit of stating as fact things he thought logically should be fact, whether or not the practice actually was as he wished it to be.


Which is why I prefaced my response to Chas with "by modern thinking". I have to say though that I have a tendency to agree with those whose own logic mirrors my own and therefore disagree with those who don't so in this instance, as in so many, I find myself agreeing with Fox-Davies. I find no difficulty in reconciling my views with the writings of older armorists as they write what they believe to be the practice and conventions of their day; we move on and conventions change. Since I have yet to see the so called law of arms I must accept that much of what we belive must be down to custom and practice. What was acceptable to earlier generations, as in most things in life, may not be acceptable to this generation. I don't believe that armory should be fossilized. I do believe that, by modern thinking, whilst a continued impalement for a widower may be acceptable, it no longer remains so once remarried; it somehow seems (by modern thinking) inappropriate to marshall the arms of a deceased wife along with those of a present wife. In addition, at a time when a marriage is almost as likely to end by divorce as by death, it is, to my mind at least, most inappropriate to continue to marshall the arms of a divorced wife along with ones own. This view would, I believe, be more logical in the world of today.
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