Fleur de lis

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Badge of the Stuarts.
Badge of the Stuarts.

Fleur-de-lis, (fr.). Although there has been much controversy concerning the origin of this bearing, no doubt it represents the lily, but in a conventional form, such as was produced by the workers in metal. It is essentially the Royal Badge of France, having been adopted by King Louis VII. in the twelfth century, in allusion to the name lois, or lys. It appears amongst the Royal Badges in England in the time of the STUARTS.

From some of the following examples it will be seen how variously the name is written in ancient rolls of arms. It will also be observed that the fleur-de-lys is subject to certain variations, e.g. stalked, slipped, leaved, seeded, and even fitchy.


Robert AGULON, de goules ov ung fleur-de-lis d'argent--Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Robert AGEUYN, de goules a une florette dor--Ibid., Harl. MS. 6585.

William de CANTELOWE, de goules a trois fleurs delices d'or--Ibid.

Sire Johan DEYVILE, de or a iij flures de goules e une fesse de goules a iij flures de or--Roll, temp. ED. II.

Sire Henri de COBHAM, de goules a un chevron de or a iij frures(sic) de azure--Ibid.

Sire Gerard de OUSFLET, de argent a une fesse de azure a iij flures de or--Ibid.

Monsire de UFFLET, port d'argent a une fess d'asur trois lis d'or en la fes--Roll, temp. ED. III.

Monsire Robert DEYVILL, port d'or a une fes de gules a vi lis--Ibid.

Per pale, sable and argent; a fleur-de-lis between two flaunches, each chargen with a fleur-de-lys all counterchanged--John ROBYNS, co. Worc.

Azure, on a bend between three fleur-de-lys or, as many pierced mullets gules--LEATHES, Herringfleet, Suffolk.

Azure, two lions rampant supporting a tower with three fleurs-de-lys out of the battlements--KELLY Castle, Kelly, Ireland.

Barry of six argent and gules, fifteen fleurs-de-lys, three, three, three, three, two and one all counterchanged--BRANKER.

Gules, three fleurs-de-lis stalked and slipped argent--WADSWORTH, co. York.

Gules, a bar between two fleurs-de-lis stalked and leaved in chief and an annulet in base--KELLOCK, Scotland.

Per fesse gules and azure, three fleurs-de-lis seeded or; a crescent for difference--PAUNCEFOOT, Somerset.

Monsire CONSTANTINE DE MORTYMER or, flourté de fleure de lis sable as peds agus--Roll, temp. ED. III.

Besides the ordinary occurrence, as above, of perfect fleur-de-lis, the upper portion is frequently employed for the termination of other devices, or combined with them. The cross fleury, of flory(see Cross, §20) is the most frequent. A singular example of a mascle so treated in the arms of MAN will be found further on, and the more singular combination of a fleur-de-lis with another charge has already been given under Cross, §6. The terms fleury(fr. fleuré), flory, fleurty, floretty, flourite, or flurte, and similar variations, also signify adorned with, or ending in, fleurs-de-lis.

The term fleur de lisé is also sometimes used in the sense of fleurs-de-lis being conjoined with the charge. At the same time it is said to be used also in the sense of a field or charge being semé or fleurs-de-lis, and so also the terms fleury, flory, and floretty. The modern French fleuri(to be distinguished from fleuré) is applied to plants, and signifies having flowers of another tincture, i.e. flowered. See under Hawthorn.

In French heraldry the fleur-de-lis is drawn sometimes with a 'fleuron,' that is, it has buds added to the flowers; it is then described as epanoui, or florencée. When it is couped, so that only the upper portion is visible, it is said to be nourrie. Fleur-de-lis are blazoned naturelles, or au naturel, when they are represented as natural lilies.


William PEYVER, d'argent a ung chevron de goules florettz d'or en le chevron--Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Le REY DE FRAUNCE, de asur poudre a flurette de or--Ibid., Harl. MS. 6589.

Le ROY DE CECYLE[Sicily] dasur poudre a florettes de or, a un lambeu de goules--Ibid.

Sire Mostas de LATIMER, ove la bende d'aszure flourite d'or--Roll, temp. EDW. II.

Sire Robert de HOYLANDE, de azure flurette de argent a un lupard rampaund de argent--Ibid.

Argent, two bars azure, over all an escarbuncle of eight rays gules pometty and floretty or--BLOUNT.

Per fesse dancetté argent and sable, each point ending in a fleur-de-lis--WOODMERTON.

D'azur, a une fleur-de-lys d'or au pied nourri; deux lis au naturel sortant d'entre les cotes--BOSCHIER, Bretagne.


Fleury counter fleury, or flory counter flory, signifies adorned with fleurs-de-lis alternately placed, as in the tressure of Scotland, and the annexed example. In the case of a tressure, or any other ordinary borne double or cottised, no part of the fleurs-de-lis is seen in the space between the pieces.

Or, a bend fleury counter fleury azure--GOLDINGTON.

Argent, a bend fleury counterfleury gules--BROMFLETT.

Or, three bars wavy gules quartering or, a lion's head erased within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules as a coat of augmentation--DRUMMOND.

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