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Augmentations: additional charges to the family arms granted to persons by their sovereign as a special mark of honour. Such marks frequently consist of portions of the royal arms, as lions, or roses, that flower being one of the royal badges.

Richard II. is the first English sovereign who is recorded to have granted augmentations of arms to his subjects. Having added the legendary arms of S.Edward the Confessor(i.e. azure, a cross patonce between five martlets or) to his own, he granted the same in 1394 to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, to be impaled by him in the same manner. One of the charges brought against this nobleman's descendant, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, in the reign of Henry VIII., was the bearing of this augmentation, which, it was alleged, implied a claim to the crown. King Richard also gave the same arms, with a bordure ermine, to Thomas Holland, Duke of Surrey, and Earl of Kent.

The augmentation of arms granted by K. Henry VIII. to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, for this victory over the Scots at Bramston, or Flodden-Field, where James IV., king of Scotland, fell(Sep. 9, 1513), is an escutcheon or, charged with a demi lion rampant, pierced through the mouth with an arrow, within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules. It will be observed that this augmentation bears a considerable resemblance to the arms of the vanquished king.

K. Henry granted an augmentation to the family of SEYMOUR, upon his marriage with his third queen, Jane, in 1536. It is 'or, upon a pile gules, between six fleur-de-lis azure, three lions passant gardant in pale or,' and is generally borne quarterly with their paternal coat, in the first and fourth quarters.

Another of Henry's grants was to Richard Gresham, mayor and alderman of London, whose arms were argent, a chevron ermine between three mullets sable pierced of the first. To these were added, on a chief gules a pelican close between two lion's gambs, erased or, armed argent.

Sir Stephen Fox, who faithfully served K. Charles II. during his exile in France, was very appropriately rewarded with a canton azure, charged with a fleur-de-lis or, being a portion of the insignia of that kingdom.

Anciently the chief, the quarter, the canton, the gyron, the pile, flasques, and the inescutcheon, were chosen to receive the augmentations of honour. In modern times the chief and canton have been generally used.

Many of the augmentations granted for naval and military services about the commencement of the present century are so absurdly confused, that all the terms of heraldry cannot intelligibly describe them. Indeed they sometimes rather resemble sea views and landscapes than armorial bearings.

Foreign sovereigns have occasionally granted augmentations to British subjects.

In 1627 Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, knighted Sir Henry Saint George(who was sent to him with the Garter), and gave him the arms of SWEDEN(azure, three crowns or) to be borne in an inescutcheon; and the king of Prussia, and the Prince of Orange, conferred certain augmentations of arms upon the Earl of Malmesbury, which K. George III. gave him permission to assume in 1789.


From the nature of the usual method of exhibiting the augmentation on the coat of arms, the original charge is frequently debruised(as it is also by the marks of cadency); hence with the French heralds both are included under the term brisures. The example of the arms of the family of PAYLER, possibly arising from an augmentation, exhibits this in a remarkable manner, as the central lion is nearly absconded. But the debruising must not be supposed in any way to be a mark of abatement, as it is quite the reverse.

Gules, three lions passant gardant in pale argent, over all a bend or charged with three mullets--PAYLER.

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