Esquire, equire, esquierre, or squire(fr. esquerre, or équerre): a figure similar in form to a gyron. The chief examples are those in the arms of MORTIMER(earls of March), which are variously blazoned, each successive heraldic writer attempting to improve upon his predecessor. The following its the description in the Siege of Carlaverock, and it has been thought well to give the English in a paraller column.
Epuis Rogiers de Mortemer, |And next Roger de Mortimer, Ki, deca mer e dela mer, |Who, on both sides the sea, A porté quel part ke ait alé |Has borne wherever he went L'escu barré au chief palé |A shield barry with a chief paly E les cornieres gyronnées, |And the corners gyronny, De or e de asur enluminées, |Emblazoned with gold and blue, O le escuchon vuidie de ermine. |With the escutcheon voided of Roll of Carlaverock. | ermine.
Next are given the varieties of blazoning, the same, or nearly the same, arms in different rolls of arms, as well as one or two more recent examples.
Roger de MORTIMER, barre, a cheif palee a corners gerone, d'or et d'azur, a ung escuchon d'argent--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
Sire Rog. de MORTIMER, barre de or e de azure od le chef palee les corners geroune, a un escuchon de argent--Roll, temp. EDW. II.
Sire Rog. de MORTIMER, le oncle, meyme les armes, od le escuchon de ermyne--Ibid.
Roger de MORTYMER, barre dor et dazur al chef pale al chantel gerone a un escochon dargent--Roll, temp. HEN. III., Harl. MS. 6589.
Per pale azure and argent, two bars, and in chief a pale between as many esquires based dexter and sinister all counterchanged; an escutcheon of the second--MORTYMER[as blazoned by York Herald, Harl. MS. 807, from Hagley Ch., Worcester].
Barry of six or and azure, on a chief of the first, three palets, between two based esquires[some say gyrons or gyronnies] of the second; over all an inescutcheon argent--MORTIMER.
On a chief azure between two cantons per bend or and the last, dexter and sinister, as many palets gold--MORTIMER.
Barry of five azure and or, on a chief as the first two palets between so many based esquires like the second, over all an escucheon argent--BLANCFRONT.
Barry of five gules and or, on a chief as the first two palets between so many based esquires like the second, over all an escucheon or--HOGELEY.
Barry of five sable and or, on a chief as the first two palets between so many based esquires like the second, over all an escutcheon barry of six gules and ermine--BUTTELER.
Barry of seven azure and argent on a chief as the first two palets between so many based esquires like the second, over all on an escucheon a cross croslet fitchy argent--Benedictine Abbey at WINCHCOMBE or WINCHELCOMBE, Gloucester.
Per fesse; the chief part quarterly indented per fesse or and ermine; the base argent charged with squires[cantons voided] sable--BARLAY.
Theoretical heralds say that the esquire may be drawn across the whole shield, but no examples are found; while the expression based or bast esquire has probably arisen from some error, but it is found used by more than one writer. It would have been better if heralds had been content with the old form, corners gyronny.
Esquire, (lat. armiger, fr. escuyer): a title of a gentleman of the rank immediately below a knight. It was originally a military office, an esquire being(as the name escuyer, from escu, a shield, implies) a knight's attendant and shield bearer.
Esquires may be theoretically divided into five classes: 1. The younger sons of peers and their eldest sons. 2. The eldest sons of knights and their eldest sons. 3. The chiefs of ancient families are esquires by prescription. 4. Esquires by creation or office. Such the heralds and serjeants at arms and some others, who are constituted esquires by receiving a collar of SS. Judges and other officers of state, justices of the peace, and the higher naval and military officers are designated esquires in their patents or commissions. Doctors in the several faculties, and barristers at law, are considered as esquires, or equal to esquires. None, however, of these offices or degrees convey gentility to the posterity of their holders.
5. the last kind of esquires are those of knights of the bath; each knight appoints two to attend upon him at his installation and at coronations.
A special helmet was appropriated to esquires.