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Bordure, (fr.) or Border: this bearing, which is reckoned among the sub-ordinaries, occupies one-fifth of the field. It is generally used as the mark of a younger branch of a family. Charged bordures in ancient armoury are supposed to allude to maternal descent. In some cases they are possibly augmentations. It is, however, evident from the bordure being sometimes the only charge in a coat, that it is a distinct and original bearing.

Ermine, a bordure gules--HUNDESCOTE.

Or, a bordure vair--GWINE, or GYNES.

Ermine, a bordure compony or and sable--RENDELL, Harl. MS., 1441.

The bordure is placed over all ordinaries, except the chief, the quarter, and the canton, which invariably surmount it, with perhaps some few exceptions, which are in such cases to be specially described.

Azure, a chief paly of six gules and or within a bordure engrailed sable--KEITH, Scotland.

Quarterly gules and or a bordure counterchanged; over all a chevron vair--FENWYKE.


When a coat having a bordure is impaled with another coat the bordure may be omitted where they join. [See Impaling.] If it charged with eight bezants(for example) only three whole ones will be seen, and two halves. Quartered coats, on the other hand, should retain their bordures entire.

Quarterly, first and fourth France and England quartered within a bordure argent; second and third or, a chevron gules--STAFFORD, Duke of Buckingham.

When a bordure is bezanté, billetté, or the like, the number of bezants or billets is generally eight, unless some other number is particularized. The arms of Richard, King of the Romans, are represented sometimes with eight, sometimes with more, bezants, q.v.

Bordure charged with bends(blazoned bendy), bars chevrons, or other ordinaries, shew only those portions of the charges which would have fallen upon the bordure if it had composed a part of a field so charged.


The line of the bordure may be indented(e.g. DE VERE), wavy, embattled, engrailed, recerselé, &c.

It may also be chequy lozengy, vair, and the like.

Sire Hue de VEER quartile de or e de goules a un molet de argent od la bordure endente de sable--Roll, temp. ED. II.

John le FITZ GEFFREY, esquartele d'or et de goules, a la bordur de verree[i.e. vair]--Roll, HEN. III.

William de SAY, autiel[i.e. the same] sans le bordure--Ibid.

A bordure compony should consist of sixteen pieces. It was supposed to have been a mark of illegitimacy, in cases where a natural son has succeeded by bequest to the estates of his father.

Bordure enaluron: a name given to one charged with eight birds of any kind, and it may be blazoned an enaluron of(say) eagles, which would imply that it was a border, and that it was charged with eight eagles. The word is probably only a corruption of the French en orle.

Analogous to the above is the Bordure entoyer or entier: charged with eight figures of any kind, except animals or plants, and Bordure verdoy, charged with eight leaves of flowers.

Gules, three garbs, within a bordure engrailed or, entoyré or pomeis--KEMP.

Or, a lion rampant azure armed and langued argent, within a bordure of the second entowry of mitres-gold--William of S.Mary-Church, Bp. of LONDON, 1199-1221.

Bordure enurney, charged with eight beasts, and so bordure of England is a gules, enurney of lions, i.e. charged with eight lions of England.

Le Comte de RUGEMOND les armes de GARENE a un quarter de ermine, od la bordure de Engleterre--Roll, temp. ED. II.

The Bordure of France is azure, charged with eight fleurs-de-lis or: and the Bordure of Scotland is the double tressure flory counter flory gules, or more probably, a bordure or, charged with such a tressure.

The bordure has no diminutive, but it is said that one may be surmounted by another of half its width. It is not the same as the Orle, though so used by some writers.

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