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Deer: the term deer(fr. daim, old fr. deym) is seldom used is blazoning, but it is convenient to employ it here as a general name under which to group several of the family of Cervidœ“. First and most common is the stag itself(fr. cerf), but other names appear, frequently representing varieties of stags, and in some cases evidently used for the sake of the name, rather than for any difference which could be shewn in the drawing. They are Hart, Buck, Roe, Roebuck, Doe, Fawn, Hind(fr. biche), Brocket. The Brocket is a young stag up to two years, or(according to some authors) to three years, old; it becomes a Buck in its sixth year. With them may be classed the Reindeer(fr. renchier), which heralds distinguish from the stag by double attires, one pair erect, the other pendent, as shewn in the diagram in the margin.

It may be added that the old name was simply cerf, and according to the rolls it is chiefly the head which appears on the ancient arms, but it will be observed that the two examples given are probably both allusive. In the first the biche(fr. for hind) probably refers to the name BECHE; and in the second the 'hert' or 'hart' distinctly alludes to the name HERTFORD.

Sire Johan de BECHE, de argent, a une bende de goules a iij testes de cerfs de or en la cantel un merelos de sable--Roll, temp. ED. II.

Monsire de HERTFORD port d'argent a une fes sable a trois testes de cerfs d'or en la fes--Roll, temp. ED. III.

Taking the stag the typical beast of chase, it will be well here to note the terms which are especially applied in heraldry to the positions in which it may be represented.

It may be statant(fr. arrêté), which means that it is standing still, with all its feet touching the ground; while statant at gaze, or standing at gaze, means that it is the same, and guardant(which is the term used of beasts of prey). Further, it may be represented as grazing, or more correctly(of stags) browsing, that is, with its head touching the ground, in the act of feeding; or at bay, i.e. with head downwards.

Argent, a stag statant gules--HOLME.

Argent, a stag statant at gaze gules--GRYFFYDD GWR.

Gules, a stag standing at gaze argent, attired or--JONES.

Ermine, three stags at gaze gules--BLYTHE, Bp. of Salisbury, 1493-99.

Azure, on a mount vert a hind grazing argent--HENDLEY, Lancaster.

Or, two tilting spears in saltire sable, surmounted by a stag browsing proper; a chief azure .... --THORNHILL, Derby.

Or, again, a stag may be trippant, or tripping, that is passant, but in a leisurely manner(and when two, counter-trippant); while courant, or more properly, in full course(fr. elancé), means that the stag must be represented as if passing at full speed. Again, instead of the term rampant, which is applied to beasts of prey, the terms used for stags are springing, or salient.


Argent, a buck tripping upon a mound proper--STRAHAN.

Vert, three roebucks trippant argent, attired or--TROLLOP.

Azure, three stags trippant or--GREEN, Bp. of Lincoln, 1761-79.

Azure, a reindeer trippant ermine--WALSTONE.

Gules, a chevron between three hinds tripping or--HINDE.

Ermine, three bucks trippant gules, on a chief indented, party per pale or and azure, a cross patonce counterchanged between two roses dexter gules, sinister or--Geoffrey BLYTHE, Bp. of Lichfield and Coventry, 1503-31.

Sable, two hinds counter-tripping, in fesse argent[or as elsewhere blazoned, Sable, two hinds counter-passant, the one facing to the sinister, surmounting the other in fesse argent]--COTTINGHAM.

Sable, two bucks in full course or--BUCKSIDE.

Azure, a stag in full course or, pursued by a brace of dogs argent, all bendwise and at random--YARDLEY.

Vert, a stag courant argent, armed or--GETTHIN, co. Cork.

Azure, a hart springing or--STRATHALLAN.

Sable, on a mount vert, two stags salient affrontant argent, collared and chained or--FISHER, Bp. of Exeter, 1803: afterwards Bp. of Salisbury, 1807-25.

... Two does counter-salient ... --DRYHURST.

Argent, a stag salient proper armed or--KIRCH.

Sable, two greyhounds rampant, regardant, addorsed argent; in chief between them a fawn's head cabossed or--BARNARD, Hants.

Or, lastly, the stag may be couchant, or more properly lodged, which latter is a term used specially of the stag. It may also be represented in a sitting posture, when the term sejant is applied, the same as that used for other animals.

Azure, (another sable,) a buck lodged argent--DOWNES, Cheshire.

Vert, three stags lodged argent, attired or, and langued gules--ANDERSON.

Vert, a hind couchant argent--PEYTON, co. Brecon.

Argent, a stag sejant gules attired or, in the mouth a trefoil slipped proper--BOWEN.

Besides these the expressions applied to other animals are found sometimes used, e.g. unguled when the hoofs are of different tincture, armed(though this very improperly), to include both horns and hoods, and also langued; and so also the terms passant, guardant, and reguardant, and even rampant, are found.

Quarterly or and azure, four roebucks passant counterchanged--ROSINDALE, [4441].

Vert, a buck rampant proper--PARKER, Cheshire.

As already noted under attires the horns of the stag are considered as ornaments, and hence the term attired is more properly employed than either armed or horned. An old term for the stag's horns is perches. The number of tynes or projections from the beam is sometimes given, if not it is quite optional. Also it may be observed that stags' heads are very frequently adopted. In one case even the stag's ears. When the front only of the head, with the attires, but without the neck, is shewn, it may be called a stag's head caboshed(fr. rencontre); the French term massacre may also be used, though some think that only a portion of the cranium should in this case be shewn.

Or, a stag's head couped and attired with six tynes on every horn sable--CALDER, Scotland.

Azure, three stag's heads couped argent, attired with ten tynes or--PORTEOUS, Scotland.

Argent, a stag's head erased, armed with three tines gules--CRAWFURD.

Argent, a buck's head cabossed sable, the tips of all the attires or--SNOKISHULL.

Le Counte de WARTEMBERG, BARNARD, Hants, d'or a iij perches de deym de sable--Harl. MS. 6589.

Azure, a bend between a deer's head erased, and in base three crosses crosslet fitchy argent--PETREE.

Argent, three brocket's heads, couped azure collared or, thereto a bell affixed gules--HANNEY.

Argent, three reindeer's heads cabossed sable--BOWETT, York.

D'azur, a trois massacres de cerf d'or--LA FERTé.

Badge of RIC.II.
Badge of RIC.II.

One of the badges of Richard II. was a white hart couchant beneath a tree proper, gorged with a crown and chained or. The annexed cut is from a carving in Westminster Hall, and a similar representation is seen in the glass in the chapel of S.Michael in Canterbury Cathedral.

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