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Escarboucle: since the earliest form which we find of this word charboucle, which only in very much later times was corrupted into carbuncle, we must look for its origin in a buckle of some kind. The present form seems to owe its origin to the metal-work on the shield, such as is exhibited on the monumental effigy(commonly ascribed to Geoffrey of Mandeville, Earl of Essex, who died in 1144,) now existing in the Temple church. The effigy, however, can scarcely be earlier than 1185, the date of the consecration of the church. The device being so exactly of the character of the metal-work of the thirteenth century it was no doubt intended by the sculptor to pourtray the ornamental iron-work, which was added to strengthen the shield, the protuberances representing bosses or rivets. That they were not intended for the arms of DE MANDEVILLE is clear, as in the contemporary Rolls of Arms we have his shield blazoned thus.

Le comte de MANDEVILE, quartele d'or et de goulez--Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Nor is there any reason to attribute them especially to any knight who is likely to have been buried there. The special figure appears afterwards to have been assumed as a regular device, and it is found amongst the historical arms painted on Queen Elizabeth's tomb in Westminster Abbey, but it is of more ornamental a character than the one on the supposed tomb of Geoffrey Mandeville.

Having become a regular device, and borne by several families, it came to have varied nomenclature, and the number of rays was reduced to six and extended to twelve, so that the number came to be mentioned. Some authors have called the rays staves, nor is this altogether needless, as examples are to be found with the staves blazoned nowyed, or pometty, and other floretty. In some of the cases, however, the device thus blazoned may be intended for a wheel, but badly drawn.

The name charboucle is the old form, as will be seen, since it is used in the earliest rolls as well as by Chaucer.

    "His shield was all of gold so red,     A charboucle beside."               
    And therin was a bores hed,          Chaucer, Rime of Sire Thopas, 13798.   
Arms on ELIZABETH'S tomb, Westminster.
Arms on ELIZABETH'S tomb, Westminster.

Le Counte de CLEVE, de goules a un eschochon d'argent a un charbocle d'or flurte--Roll, temp. HEN. III. ; Harl. MS. 6589.

Gules, a chief argent over all an Escarbuncle or--arms ascribed to the Counts of Anjou. [Painted on Queen's Elizabeth's tomb.]

Argent, an escarbuncle or, over all an escucheon sable--CLEVE.

Argent, an escarbuncle sable--BOTHER.

Gules, an escarbuncle of six points or--NEVERNE.

Argent, two bars azure, over all an escarbuncle of eight points gules, pometty and floretty or--BLOUNT. [In another family an escarbuncle gules nowed or, and in another of eight rays or.]

Argent, on a bend gules three escarbuncles or--THORNETON.

Gules, a cross within a bordure or, over all an escarbuncle of eight staves sable--Benedictine Abbey of S.JOHN, COLCHESTER.

Sable, an escarbuncle or, but with twelve rays--RUTHFIO, Cornwall.

Argent, an escarbuncle of eight rays argent, over all a fesse as the second--PHEIPOWE, Ireland.

Quarterly gules and argent, over all an escarbuncle sable oppressed by a quatrefoil quarterly argent and gules--Sire Geoffrey MANDEVILLE, Earl of Essex. [Only in a very late MS.]

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