Cordon(fr. Cordelière), is the silver cord which encircles the arms of widows. Its institution has been attributed to Anne of Bretagne, widow of Charles VIII, King of France, "who," says Ashmole(Order if G., p. 126), "instead of the military belt or collar, bestowed a cordon or lace on several ladies, admonishing term to live chastly and devoutly, always mindful of the cords and bonds of our Saviour Jesus Christ; and to engage them to a greater esteem thereof, she surrounded her escocheon of arms with the like cordon." The special used is to distinguish the arms of widows from those or wives; but in English it is but rarely painted upon funeral achievements. The precise form and number of the knots is arbitrary. The arms given in the illustration are thus blazoned.
Argent, a bend engrailed sable--RADCLIFFE; and sable a saltire argent--ASTON.-The arms within a cordon.