Plume. Feathers were naturally employed more frequently as badges and crests than as charges on coats of arms, and when three or more occur they are termed a plume, fr. panache. The best known example is the plume of ostrich feathers borne by the PRINCE OF WALES, a cognizance peculiar to members of the royal family. The favourite legend that Prince Edward received the ostrich feathers from the casque of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, at the battle of Cressy, Aug. 26, 1346, will scarcely bear investigation, or that the motto Ich Dien referred referred to the Bohemian King serving the French King as a stipendiary; still the true origin has not been satisfactorily ascertained. Since the time of Henry VIII. the ostrich feathers have been encircled by a coronet. An illustration is given from the Prince's Primer, printed by Richard Grafton, London, 1546.
Argent, a chevron sable between three ostrich feathers(erroneously called perukes)--HARMAN, Kent.
Argent, on a cross moline gules a feather of the first between two annulets in pale or--VIDAL, co. Devon.
Argent, a steel cap proper with a feather in front gules--KINGSTON, temp. RICH. II.
Argent, six ostrich feathers, three, two, and one sable--JERVIS.
When a plume consists of more than three feathers the number must be stated, but a very common device is to place the feathers in rows, and the rows are by some heralds blazoned as so many heights. When more than three heights occur, the term pyramid of feathers is used. The crest of MORTIMER supplies an example of this, though some heralds blazon this device as a pyramid of leaves.
Gules, a fesse between three plumes argent--COLVELEY, co. Hants.
Sable, three plumes of ostrich feathers, three in each, argent--TUFFLE.
Per fesse gules and azure a griffin argent armed or seizing on a dragon vert holding a plume of the third--KIRKSWOLD.
Gules, on a horse courant or with a plume to the head, bridle, saddle and trappings of the field between three garbs as the second, a 5-foil at the shoulder like the first, the hip covered by an escucheon .... charged with a cross--MALT.
Sable, three ostrich feathers ermine quills or, transfixed through as many scrolls of the last--JOHN duke of Lancaster.
Argent, three feathers in pale, each bending from the other in the tops gules, shafts[or quills] or--BROBRACH.