Bend, (fr. bande): the bend dexter is perhaps one of the most frequently used of Ordinaries, q.v., being a straight piece extending from the dexter corner to the opposite edge of the shield. It is said to derive its origin from the belt, baudrick or baldrick(Baltheus, Cingulum militare), which was once a mark of knighthood; other heralds, however, have seen in it the idea of a scaling-ladder. According to Legh and other heraldic writers, the bend should occupy one-third of the field when charged, and one-fifth when plain. In English arms the bend is always placed straight athwart the shield, and never bowed as in foreign arms: at the same time, in some late MSS. it is fancifully drawn with a curve, in order to represent the convexity of the shield.
Gules, a bend argent--FOLIOT[or as it is written in a Roll of arms, temp. Henry III. 'Richard FOLIOTT, de goulz ung bend d'argent'].
William de GAUNT, barreé d'argent et d'azure, ung bend de goules--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
John de VAUX, ung bend escheque d'argent et de goules--Ibid.
Gules, a bend ermine between six bezants--[? Sir Armoyne COUGHTE, from arms in Dorchester Church, Oxon.]
A bend is very frequently subjected to a modification of its margin, and is engrailed, invected, indented, embattled, counter-embattled, bretessed, raguly, champaine(or warriated), nebuly, wavy; also bevilled, cotticed and fimbriated, all of which terms will be found explained.
Robert WALROND, d'argent ung bend engrele de goules--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
Sire Aleyn PLOKENOT, de ermyn a une bende engrele de goules--Roll, temp. EDW. II.
Sir Johan de PENZRET, de goulys, a une bende batille[embattled] de argent--Ibid.
A bend is also frequently charged with various devices, and when charged upon the upper part this should be noticed, because when a bend is simply described as charged, it signifies it is so on the centre or fesse-point. All charges placed upon a bend, in bend, or between cottices, must stand bendwise, not perpendicularly. Even the furs follow this rule, although generally upright on all other ordinaries. Illustrations of bends besides those given in the present article will be found under compony, cottised, embowed, engrailed, fleury, pierced, raguly, wavy, and also bearing such charges as magnet, mullet, spear, wyvern, &c.
Gules, on the upper part of a bend between six crosses crosslet fitchy argent, an escutcheon or charged with a demi lion rampant, pierced through the mouth with an arrow, within a tressure flory counter flory gules--HOWARD, Baron Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Gules, on a bend between crosses botonny argent, a mullet in the point of the bend sable--Monsire de ORMESBY, Harl. MS. 6589.
Bend archy, or bowed or embowed(q.v.), not found in English arms, only in the Continent, and more frequently in German arms; an example may be seen in the Crown of Rue, q.v.
Bend debruised, or fracted, otherwise dauncet, or downset: various forms are inserted in English heraldic books, but it may be questioned whether the old 'dancetty' was not quite distinct from the idea of the barbarous term downset.
De argent a une bande daunce de vert a ij coties daunce de goules Sir Edmund de KENDALE--Roll, AD. 1308-14(Lansd. MS. 855).
Azure, a bend double dancetty argent--LORKS.
Per bend fracted[in another MS. double dancetty] or and gules, two birds in bend sinister counterchanged--RAUFF.
Per bend sinister fracted[in another MS. double dancetty, and a third MS. rompu] argent and sable six martlets counterchanged--John ALLEYNE, Suffolk.
A bend may be composed of charges placed bendwise, e.g.
A bend of five lozenges combined or--Jon le MARESCAL, Harl. MS. 6137.
In bend is a term used when bearings are placed bendwise.
Per bend: see Party.