Marshalling of Shields | DrawShield

Marshalling of Shields

Marshalling is the combination of two or more arms onto a single shield.

Two Shields Combined

Drawshield supports the terms dimidiated with and impaled with to combine two shields into a single image. On both "sides" there must complete shield descriptions.

Two shields are often combined on a quartered shield, with one of the arms in the first and fourth quarters and the other in the second and third quarters. (See below).

Four or More Shields Combined

Drawshield recognises the terms quartered, quartered of five, quartered of six up to quartered of nine. Each quarter is specified by the terms first, second, third, fourth, fifth... etc., you may also ordinal digits or roman numerals. The specifiers can be linked using and, and which must each be followed by a complete shield description. It can sometimes be ambiguous where a shield description ends, the punctuation character semi-colon ; can be used to indicate the end of a shield description.

The program will count the shield descriptions and it is an error for shield descriptions to be missing.

Objects "Overall" to the shield


t is also possible to place objects (charges or ordinaries) overall. This must be the last part of the shield description and must be followed by a complete description of an ordinary or charge. It will be placed "on top" of all the other objects, even if that would not be its "natural" layer, and its positioning and arrangement ignore any underlying ordinaries or field divisions.

Note that in the case of marshalled shields, objects overall are applied to the MOST RECENT shield ONLY. To place objects "on top" of a marshalled shield use one of the terms over all the parts, over all quarters.

Nested Quarterings

Quarterings may be nested to any depth, however the nested quartering MUST be ended by a the characters ;; (double semi-colon). This indicates the end of the nested shield and the remaining quarters will be applied to the "outer" quartering. The double colons may be immediately followed by the phrase over all quarters and followed by an ordinary or charge that will be place overall to that quartering.

It is easy to lose track of complex quarterings, I recommend using words (first, second etc.) for outermost quarterings and then alternating roman numerals (I, II, III etc.) and ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) for nested quarterings.


Marshalling is the weakest area of DrawShield, not in recognising marshalled shields but in drawing them properly. The two biggest shortcomings are the placement of charges in the various arrangements and the provision of ordinaries that mirror the shape of the shield (bordures, orles etc.) This is mainly because each "sub-shield" is a different shape and needs all the placements to be worked out individually and each of the "shaped" ordinaries to be re-drawn, and boy, is that tedious. Still, I will persevere...


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