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Orle, (fr. orle): an ordinary in the form of a bordure, but detached from the sides of the shield, or, as it appeared to the more ancient heralds, an escutcheon voided, (old fr. faux escuchon). Double and triple orles are sometimes spoken of, and when one within the other they are spoken of as being concentric, but this term seems out of place in armoury; they should rather be blazoned tressures(q.v.). The orle like the bordure is usually dimidiated when impaled.


John de BALLIOLL, de goules, ove ung faux escochon d'argent--Roll, temp. HEN. III. [Founder of BALLIOL COLLEGE, Oxford, which has adopted the same arms.]

Roger BERTRAM, de goules et ung faux escucion et croisele d'or--Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Sire Gilberd de LYNDESEYE, de goules, crusules[crosslets] de or a un escuchon de veer percee--Roll, temp. ED. II.

Sire Wauter de MOLESWORTHE, meisme les armes, les crusules de argent--Ibid.

Gules, an orle argent; over all a bend ermine--Town of RICHMOND, co. York.

Gules, two concentric orles in a bordure argent--BURDON.

Argent, two concentric orles gules[elsewhere two orles in fesse gules] BAGWAY.

Azure, three concentric orles or--LANDLES.

AYLMER DE VALENCE, Earl of Pembroke.
AYLMER DE VALENCE, Earl of Pembroke.

An orle of martlets should rather be blazoned eight martlets in orle, although, as seen below, the term is quite legitimate, and has ancient authority. The number of charges placed in orle is generally in later heraldry understood to be eight, unless some other number is mentioned. (See also under Bordure.)

Though some few other charges are borne in orle, the martlets are the most frequent in the ancient coats of arms.

William de VALENS, burelee d'argent et d'azur, ung urle des merlotts de goules--Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Le Conte de VALENCE, burle d'argente et d'azur a merloz de goules bordears[i.e. in bordure]--Another Roll, Ibid.

    De Walence Aymars li vaillans           O la bordure poralée                
    Bele baniere i fu baillans              Tout entour de rouges merlos.       
    De argent e de asur burelée               Roll of Carlaverock.              

Le Counte de PENBROC, burele de argent e de azure od les merelos de goules--Roll, temp. ED. II.

Walter de FAUCOMBE, noir ung quinte-fueile d'argent et les merlotts d'argent entour--Roll, temp. HEN. III.

Monsire de HARDESHILL, port d'argent a une chevron sable, et une urle des merletts gules--Roll, temp. ED. III.

Monsire de VAUX, port argent, a une urle de merletts gules a une eschochion gules--Ibid.

Monsire de PIERPOINT, port d'argent a une lyon de sable rampant, et une urle de cinqfoiles gules--Ibid.

Argent, two annulets conjunct sable within an orle of trefoils slipped vert--John ETON.

An orle, like the ordinaries, may be indented, engrailed, &c., but does not seem to occur charged, as is the case with the bordure.

Or, an orle indented on the inner edge azure--LEND, Scotland.

Gules, an orle engrailed on the inner side or, within a bordure also engrailed of the last--RUTLAND, co. Surrey.

Argent, an orle gules, flory and counter flory on the outer edge vert, in the centre a dagger in pale azure, hilt and pomel or--CONSIDINE.

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