Fusil, (fr. fuseau and fusée), in its natural form and sense, in a spindle belonging to a distaff; but in its conventional form it is an elongated lozenge, and very often the one charge is mistaken for the other. In different arms they are differently drawn, and in the same arms at different dates they are variously represented. In an ordinary way the conventional fusil is the one to be drawn. In French armorial blazon the name fuseau seems to be reserved for the true spindle, while the fusée is used for the conventional form. In its primitive form, as in the arms of BADLAND, afterwards assumed by HOBY, it is represented as in the margin(fig. 1). The family of TREFUSIS bear another variety of the fusil(fig. 2); but the usual term for such is spindle, q.v.; while the heraldic fusil is drawn as fig. 3. The fusil does not appear in the rolls of arms, so far as been observed, before the time of Edward III.
Monsire de MONTAGUE, Count de Sarum, port d'argent trois fusilles gules--Roll, temp. ED. III.
Monsire DAWTRYNE, port de sable a une fes fusile de v points d'argent--Ibid.
Argent, three fusils(or spindles) in fesse gules threaded or--HOBY, Bisham.
Argent, a chevron between three ancient fusils(or wharrow spindles) sable--TREFUSIS.
Compared with the lozenge and the mascle the fusil should always be represented narrower in proportion to its height, but, whatever rules may be laid down, they are seldom adhered to, as the disposition of the fusils and shape of the shield oblige modifications.
The bend fusil should consist of about five entire fusils, and two halves, each individual fusil being placed bend-sinisterwise. The fesse fusil should have five perfect fusils, and the cross, as already pointed out(see cross, §8), should consist of nine, five of which should be entire. But, as will be observed, an ordinary is often described "of so many fusils."
In the fesse the fusils are naturally all upright; in the bend they are drawn at right angles to the diagonal line passing across the shield; in a cross of fusils all the fusils are placed upright; while in a saltire they diverge from the fesse points.
Or, five fusils conjoined in fesse azure--PENNINGTON, Muncaster, Cumb.
Further, there is much inconsistency in nomenclature. A fesse, bend, or cross fusil, is used instead of a fesse, bend, or cross, composed of so many fusils: fusilly also is often written with the same meaning, but, as pointed out under cross, §8, it is incorrect.
Fusilly(fr. fusilé) is a well-defined term applied to the field, and the two tinctures must be named, as in the arms of PATTEN given below. The application of this term to a series of fusils(with one tincture only named) is consequently entirely wrong, but custom has so completely sanctioned it(no doubt through carelessness in the first instance) that the error has become almost the rule.
Monsire William de MONTAGUE, Counte de Sarum, port d'argent trois fuselles gules--Roll, temp. ED. III.
Monsire Edward de MONTAGUE, port d'ermine a trois fuselles de gules--Ibid.
Argent, four fusils in fesse azure--PLOMPTON.
Argent, a fesse fusily gules--NEWMARCH.
Ermine, five fusils in fesse gules pierced--HUTTON.
Or, on a fesse gules, five fusils argent; in chief three mascles azure, in base a fret of the second; all within a bordure of the fourth, entoyre of bezants--Thomas BURGESS, Bp. of S.David's, 1803; of Salisbury, 1825-37.
Argent, a fesse of two fusils conjoined gules--CHAMPENEY, co. Devon.
Argent, within a bordure sable, three fusils in fesse gules--James MONTAGUE, Bp. of Bath and Wells, 1608; then of Winchester, 1616-18.
Per chevron or and azure, a bar fusily of the first, each fusil being charged with an escallop gules; in chief two fleurs-de-lis of the last--EDGAR.
Argent, two bars fusilly gules--Rauf RAUL.
Vert, a bend fusil or--KNIGHT.
Argent, three fusils in bend gules--MALMAYNES.
Argent, a bend of four fusils conjoined gules--BRADESTONE.
Argent, four fusils in cross sable--Sir Thomas BANESTER, K.G.
Argent, five fusils in cross--ARCHARD.
Vert, a saltire fusilly or--FRANKE.
Argent, four bars gules; on a canton ermine as many fusils in bend of the second--WALEYS, Dorset.
Argent, six fusils in pale sable--DANIELS.
Gules, five fusils in fesse quartered argent and sable, between six crosses flowered of the second--BOALER.
Fusilly, ermine and sable--PATTEN, Stoke Newington, Middlesex.
Fusilly, gules and or--CRONE.
No case has been noticed in which when the term fusilly is applied to an ordinary two tinctures are named; as all the examples appear with one tincture, the term fusilly must be read 'of so many fusils.'