Marshalling is the combination of two or more arms onto a single shield.

Two Shields Combined

Drawshield supports the terms dimidiated with and impaled with to combine two shields into a single image. On both "sides" there must complete shield descriptions.

Two shields are often combined on a quartered shield, with one of the arms in the first and fourth quarters and the other in the second and third quarters. (See below).

Four Shields Combined

It is possible to combine 4 shields into a single image by starting the description with the word quartered. This is then followed by any number of the words first, second, third, fourth (you can also use 1st, 2nd etc.) each of these is then followed by a complete shield description.

Complex Quarterings

In truth, Drawshield supports many more complex quarterings but this is a rather advanced topic and has been moved to its own page.

Objects "Overall" to the shield

It is also possible to place objects (charges or ordinaries) overall. This must be the last part of the shield description and must be followed by a complete description of an ordinary or charge. It will be placed "on top" of all the other objects, even if that would not be its "natural" layer, and its positioning and arrangement ignore any underlying ordinaries or field divisions.

Note that in the case of marshalled shields, objects overall are applied to the MOST RECENT shield ONLY. To place objects "on top" of a marshalled shield use one of the terms over all the parts, over all quarters.

It is easy to lose track of complex quarterings, I recommend using words (first, second etc.) for outermost quarterings and then alternating roman numerals (I, II, III etc.) and ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) for nested quarterings.


Marshalling is the weakest area of DrawShield, not in recognising marshalled shields but in drawing them properly. The two biggest shortcomings are the placement of charges in the various arrangements and the provision of ordinaries that mirror the shape of the shield (bordures, orles etc.) This is mainly because each "sub-shield" is a different shape and needs all the placements to be worked out individually and each of the "shaped" ordinaries to be re-drawn, and boy, is that tedious. Still, I will persevere...

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