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Ship, (fr. navire or vaisseau): this is a very frequent device, and especially in the insignia of sea-port towns and merchant companies. The form varies greatly in different examples, being for the most part copied from the existing fashion. When ships are named they should be most scrupulously blazoned, care being especially taken to state the number of masts and top-masts, whether there are any sails(fr. voiles), and if any, whether they are furled or not. The rigging, too, it will be seen is often of a different tincture. It will be noted that the hulk of the vessel is often named, and sometimes the stern. Ship and Castles are so exceedingly varied in form that they present greater difficulties than almost any other bearings.


It will be found that a ship proper is generally represented with three masts; if with one mast it is perhaps better blazoned as a Lymphad(q.v.), (which may have oars as well), or a galley, though the latter may have three masts.

Argent, a three-masted galley, her sails furled proper[otherwise a ship with three masts, sails furled and shrouded proper]--MEARES.

A ship of three masts of in full sail of the waves of the sea; the mainsail charged with a lion rampant, and the sail on the foremast charged with a cross of S.George; on the round top of each mast are four spears with their barbed points upwards--Seal of town of ALDBOROUGH, Suffolk; granted 1561.

Gules, a fesse ermine, in base a ship with three masts, sails furled proper--CRAWFURD, Passell.

Argent, in base a lion passant gules and in chief a three-masted ship sails set ... --O'LEARIE, Ireland.

Azure, semy-de-lis or, a lion rampant of the last; on a canton argent, a ship in full sail proper--POOLE, co. Chester.

Argent, on waves of the first and azure a three-masted ship in pale sailing to the sinister sable; on a chief of the third a lizard or--MAC SHEELEY.

Quarterly, first and fourth or, a lion rampant gules; second azure a ship at anchor within a royal tressure or; third azure, a ship in full sail or; over all dividing the quarters, a cross engrailed gules--SINCLAIR, Mey, Scotland.

Azure, in base a sea with a dolphin's head appearing in the water all proper; on the sea a ship of three masts in full sail all or, the sail and rigging argent, on each a cross gules; on the dexter chief point the sun in splendour; on the sinister chief point an estoile of the third; on a chief of the fourth a cross of the fifth charged with the lion of England--Company of SPANISH MERCHANTS.

Azure, on a sea in base proper a ship with three masts in full sail or, between two rocks of the second, all the sails, pennants and ensigns argent, each charged with a cross gules; a chief engrailed of the third; in base a sea-horse proper--LEVANT COMPANY[TURKEY MERCHANTS].

Azure, three ships of as many masts rigged and under full sail, the sails, pennants and ensigns argent, each charged with a cross gules, on a chief of the second ... (see Pale)--EAST INDIA COMPANY; arms granted 1600.

Barry wavy of six argent and azure; over all a ship of three masts in full sail proper, sails, pennants, and ensigns of the first each charged with a cross gules all between three bezants; a chief or, on a pale between two roses gules seeded or barbed vert a lion passant gardant of the fifth--RUSSIA MERCHANTS, incorporated 1555.

With the French when the masts are of a different tincture the term equipé is used, and when the sails are so, habillé.

D'azur, au navire d'or, equipé et voilé d'argent, flottant sur des ondes de même--HERAIL, Languedoc.

De gueules, au navire d'or, habillé d'hermine, voguant sur des ondes au naturel; au chef cousu d'hermine--Ville de NANTES.

Demy Hull.
Demy Hull.

The hull or hulk of the vessel is sometimes figured separately on arms, and in a few cases(the insignia of the CINQUE PORTS being the characteristic examples), a portion only of the hull is shewn. Often, too, the hulk is conjoined to some other charge. The sails and the masts are also as devices; the former is sometimes drawn with a portion of the mast, of at least of the yardarm.

Barry of six argent and azure three hulks sable; on a chief gules three lions passant gardant or--City of WATERFORD.

Per pale gules and azure; on the dexter three demi-lions passant gardant issuing from the centre and conjoined to so many demi-hulks of ships on the sinister argent--CINQUE PORTS.

Per pale gules and azure, three demi-lions passant gardant in pale or; joined to as many demi-hulks of ships argent; over all in pale a crosier or--FEVERSHAM ABBEY.

Gules, a lion rampant gardant or impaled with azure, three demi-hulks of ships joined to the impaled line of the last--Town of IPSWICH, Suffolk; confirmed 1561[elsewhere Per pale gules and azure a lion rampant or between three sterns of ships argent].

Gules, three pieces of masts couped, with the tops argent two and one--CROMER.

Gules[otherwise vert], three sails argent--CAVEL.

Argent, three sails of a ship fastened to their yards gules--LOCAVELL, or CAVELL.

The term antique or ancient ship sometimes means the Lymphad, q.v. When oars are named(a in the arms SINCLAIR), though the charge is called a ship, it is meant probably far a galley. A Spanish merchant-ship occurs in the arms of FAVENC(see under Mulberry), and the Noah's ark, borne by the Company of SHIPWRIGHTS, has been mentioned in its proper place. The shambrogue(q.v.), which writers refer to as a ship, seems not to be a ship at all.

An antique vessel with one mast; two men in the vessel, one blowing a horn, and two men lying on the yard arm--Seal of the Corporation of HYTHE, Kent.

Azure, an ancient ship of three masts, sails furled or--WRANGHAM.

De gueules, au navire antique d'argent, voguant sur des ondes de même; au chef semé de France--Ville de PARIS. [The ship is variously drawn, and the chief has been several times altered.]

Azure, a ship at anchor, her oars in saltire within a double tressure flory counterflory or--SINCLAIR or ST.CLAIR, Baron Sinclair.

Or, a galley, sails furled and oars in action gules, flags azure--NOBLE, Ireland.

Or, on a fesse azure between in chief a bull's head couped, and in base a galley with oars erected saltirewise sable, a Saint Andrew's cross argent--RICHARDSON, Scotland.

Barry wavy of six argent and azure; over all a fishing vessel of one mast sans sail or--ROYAL FISHING COMPANY.

It has been said that several towns bear ships on their insignia. The following represents a list of those which have been noticed. Where an asterisk is placed the statement is derived only from the seal.

*ALDBOROUGH, Suffolk; *BEAUMARIS; BERWICK, (North); *BIDEFORD, Devon; BRISTOL; BURNTISLAND; CAMBRIDGE; *CARDIGAN; DARTMOUTH, Devon; *DUNWICH, Suffolk; *EAST LOW, Cornwall, *FOWEY, Cornwall; *HARWICH, Essex(crest); HASTINGS, Sussex; *HYTHE, Kent; IPSWICH, Suffolk; LYDD, Kent; *LYMINGTON, Hants; *MALDON, Essex(rev.); *NEWTOWN, Hants; PLYMOUTH, Devon; QUEENSFERRY, Scotland; RENFREW, Scotland; SANDWICH, Kent; TENTERDEN, Kent; TRURO, Cornwall; WATERFORD, Ireland; WEXFORD, Ireland; WEYMOUTH, Dorset; WINCHELSEA, Sussex; *YARMOUTH, Hants.

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