Chevron, (fr. chevron, old fr. cheveron): an ordinary occupying one-fifth of the field. The origin and meaning of this term has afforded ground for many guesses, but in diversifying the forms which bars across the shield may take, that of the chevron is a very natural one. The name itself is derived directly from the fr. chevron, i.e. rafter of a roof.
It is found in the earliest of the Rolls of Arms, and is one of the most frequently employed of the Ordinaries. At the siege of Caerlaverock, for instance(A.D. 1300), Henry le TYES had a banner argent, or, as the poet writes, 'whiter than a brightened lily,' with a chevron gules in the midst. And at the same siege, Robert FITZWALTER, "who well knew of arms the business," on a yellow banner had a fesse between two red chevrons. Both of these arms are to be seen in stained glass in Dorchester Church, Oxon, in a window which was probably nearly contemporary with the siege, and perhaps recording the benefactors to the Church.
Baniere ot Henris li TYOIS Plus blanche de un poli lyois O un chievron vermeil en mi. O lui Robert le FIZ WATER Ke ben sout des armes le mester ... En la baner jaune avoit Fesse entre deus cheverons vermaus.
It has two diminutives, the chevronel, which is half its width(more or less), and the couple-close, which is half the chevronel.
Moris de BARKELE,--goules ung cheveron d'argent--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
Le Conte de WARREWIK,--chequy d'or et d'azur, a ung cheveron d'ermyn--Ibid.
Azure, a chevron embattled ermine--REYNOLDS, co. Leicester.
Azure, a chevron dauncetty or--HAMELL, co. Buckingham, and HAMILTON, co. Gloucester.
Argent, a chevron ermine fimbriated sable, between annulets gules--CLUTTON.
Sire William de HOTOT,--de azure, a iij cressanz de argent e un cheveron de or--Roll, temp. ED. II.
Sire Johan de HOTOT,--meisme les armes, le cheveron gymile--Ibid.
Argent, a chevron per pale or and gules--WESTON.
Argent, a chevron quarterly sable and gules--HONYWOOD, Kent.
Ermine, a chevron compony gules and argent--HILL.
Further, the chevron may be charged with other devices of various kinds, and amongst these is especially to be noted the surmounting of one chevron by another. In the arms of STEER it will be observed that we have two different blazonings for the same arms, one describing the chevron as voided, the other as one chevron on another. And in the case of the arms of STALEY we have a further complication, since this chevron may be blazoned in two different ways, either as a chevron engrailed surmounted by a chevron plain, or as a plain chevron fimbriated. Precisely similar arms, as regards outline, are those of DUDLEY, which are blazoned as voided. It seems to be a case where authority can be found for either system of blazon, and it is difficult to say which is best.
Argent, a chevron voided gules--STEER, Ireland.
Argent, on a chevron gules another of the first--STEER.
Azure, a chevron engrailed, voided or--DUDLEY, Berks and Bucks.
Argent, on a chevron engrailed azure another plain sable--STALEY.
[Or as it is elsewhere blazoned--Argent, a plain chevron sable, fimbriated and engrailed azure--STALEY.]
Gules, on a chevron argent three bars gemells sable--THROCKMORTON.
Gules, on a chevron argent .... bars nebuly sable--HANKFORD.
Or, on a chevron engrailed azure bars wavy argent--BROWNE.
Or, on a chevron gules bars sable--Lewis PROUDE, Charterhouse, 1619.
A chevron may be enhanced, that is, borne higher up on the escutcheon(no instance has been observed in which it is abased), and it may be reversed, that is, it may have its point downwards, like a pile, or it may be combined with a pile, but such variations are of rare occurrence. It is also sometimes found couped, that is, not extending to the edge of the escutcheon, or with the apex terminated by some other charge, when it may be said to be ensigned of such a charge.
Gules, a chevron enhanced argent--CARLYON.
Argent, a chevron reversed gules--GRENDON.
Ermine, a chevron couped sable--HUNTLEY; also JONES, 1730.
Ermine, a chevron couped gules--AMOCK.
Argent, a chevron embattled and ensigned on the top with a banner between in chief two estoiles, and in base a sun gules--EUENE.
Argent, a chevron supporting on its point a cross patty sable--TRENEREEK.
Sable, a chevron ending in the middle point with a plain de lis argent--KEY.
Argent, a chevron, the top ending with a cross patty sable--FINDON; Harl. MS. 1386.
Argent, a chevron sable and pile counterchanged--ATWELL, co. York; Harl. MS. 1465.
Or, a chevron couched dexter gules--TOURNEY.
Or, a chevron couched dexter azure--DOUBLET.
Argent, two chevrons, couched(and counterpointed?) vert--COUCHMASTER.
Purpure, a chevron couched sinister or--BIGHTINE.
Chevron inarched. Of this form there are two varieties, as shewn in the margin, found in modern heraldic designs, but probably no ancient authority for the form exists.
Argent, a chevron inarched sable--HOLBEAME, Lincoln.
Purpure, a chevron inarched argent--ARCHEVER, Scotland.
A Chevron arched(fr. courbé), resembles a semi-circular arch across the field. It only occurs in foreign arms, and is to be distinguished from the arched fesse by the curve being somewhat more decided.
For Chevrons interlaced, see Angles.
Besides the above there are various forms of broken chevrons. But the terms do not appear very distinctly defined by heralds, and the actual examples are but few. We find the terms fracted, disjoint, bruised, or debruised(fr. brisé), and rompu or downset, the last term, to all appearance, being a barbarism derived from the French dauncet, which would be equivalent to dancetty.
Argent, a chevron debruised between three crosses botonny fitchy sable--BARDOLPH, Stafford.
Argent, a chevron debruised sable, between three cross-crosslets fitchée of the last--GREENWAY[Glover's Ordinary].
Per pale argent and sable, a chevron bruised at the top, and in base a crescent counterchanged--ALEXANDER, Kinlassie.
.... a chevron debruised by a fesse charged with a crescent, all between three annulets .... HEDLEY, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Azure, a chevron disjoint or broken in the head or--BROKMALE.
Per fesse gules and sable, a chevron rompu counterchanged--ALLEN, Sheriff of London, 18¡Â¬deg; Jac. I.
Or, a chevron rompu between three mullets sable--SALT, Yorks.
In the margin are given illustrations of one or two forms found in books, but no ancient examples have been observed. With the French engravers the chevron brisé is generally drawn in a similar manner to fig. 1, though the two portions are often still further apart, so as not to touch at all. Rompu and failli seem to be used by them when the sides of the chevron are broken into one or more pieces.
Per chevron. See Party.