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Armorial Gold's Heraldry Dictionary

This heraldry dictionary is based on the works of Elvin (edited by Marvin Beatty) from his original manuscript of 1879. Corrections have been made, and additions from the Armorial Gold Library have been added. You are welcome to use this heraldry dictionary as a reference tool without fee. This is copyrighted material and as such may not be reproduced in "any way" without the expressed written permission of Armorial Gold. Thank You for your Cooperation.
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Heraldry Dictionary Section H 

Habergeon, Haubergeon or Hauberk. A shirt of mail without sleeves.

Habick or Habeck. A tool used in the process of dressing cloth, and borne in the arms of the Ciothier's Company.

Habited. Clothed or Vested.

Hache or Hacke. An axe.

Hacked or Hewed. When the indents are embowed.

Hackett. Plumbers' cutting knife, or iron.

Hackle. A Hemp-Break.

Haddock. A fish.

Haft. A handle.

Haie. See Weir.

Halbert, Halbard or Halberde. A battle axe.

Halcyon. See Kingfisher.

Half. See Demi.

Halo. See Circle of Glory.

Hamade or Hamaide.  A couped bar coupled. Does not touch the edge of the shield; rare.

Hames or Heames. Pieces of wood or metal, by which the traces and body harness of a horse are attached to the collar.

Hammers. In great variety are found in Coat Armour.

Hanchet. See Bugle-Horn.

Hand. Borne variously in Coat Armour. The Hand is always understood to be a dexter one, if not mentioned as sinister, and when no other position is named it is understood to be Apaumee.

Hand aversant. The back of the hand.

Hand-red or Bloody. See Baronet's Badge.

Hanger. A short curved sword.

Hanoverian Guelphic Order. See Knighthood.

Harboured. The same as lodged.

Hare. A swift timid animal.

Hariant. See Haurient.

Harnysed. Clad in armour.

Harp. A stringed instrument with triangular frame, the cords of which are distended in parallel directions from the upper part to one of its sides. It is the well-known ensign of the kingdom of Ireland.

Harpy. A fabulous monster, represented as a vulture with the head and breast of a woman.

Harrington-Knot. The badge of that family.

Harrow. A frame of timbers crossing each other, and set with teeth.

Hart. See Stag.

Hart, Royal. A stag who has escaped when hunted by a King, or Queen.

Haryant. Same as Haurient.

Hasel-sprig. Same as a nut-branch only with three leaves.

Hat. A cover for the head.

Hatching. A bird hatching from an egg.

Hatchment. A corrupted term applied to denote a Family Funeral Achievement. See Funeral Achievement.

Hauberk or Hauberg. See Habergeon.

Hauette. See Habick.

Haumetty. See Humettée.

Hauriant or Haurient. A term applied to Fish when placed erect.

Hausse or Hause. See Enhanced.

Hautboy. A musical wind instrument.

Hawberk. A shirt of mail.

Hawk or Falcon. A very common bearing in Coat Armour. A Hawk, or Falcon, blazoned ppr. is represented with a bell tied to each leg. See Falcon.

Hawk's Leure or Lure. As depicted in Armory are two wings conjoined with their tips downwards, fastened with a line and ring.

Hawk's-Bell and Jesses. The jesses are leather thongs with which the bells are tied to the hawk's legs.

Hawmed. See Humettée.

Haydoddes. See Cyanus.

Hazel. There are two varieties, the common hazel nut and the filbert, met with in Coat Armour.

Head. Heads of Men and Women, Beasts, Birds, Fish, etc., are of frequent occurrence in Coat Armour. They are in profile (termed side long, or side faced), front faced, i.e. affrontée, or guardant, and reguardant, which is looking back. In blazon, all heads are understood to be in profile, if not expressed to the contrary.

The terms, Man's Head, Savage's Head, Saxon's Head, Englishman's Head, and Gipsy's Head, are used to describe heads of exactly the same kind. See Man's Head.

Headpiece. A Helmet.

Healme or Casque. A Helmet.

Heames. See Hames.

Heart. In blazon, the heart is termed a human or body heart.

Heart's-ease. Pansy-flower.

Heater-shield. See Escutcheon.

Heaume, Heawme, Heaulme or Casque. See Helmet.

Heavenly bodies. See Planets.

Hedgehog or Urchin. A small animal, the upper part of its body is covered with prickles.

Hedgehog-fish. A Sea-Urchin.

Heinuse. Signifies a young roe, in the third year.

Heir Apparent. Is a person so called in the lifetime of the present possessor at whose death he is heir at law.

Helm. An instrument by which a ship is steered.

Helmet, Heime, Heaulme or Casque. Was also termed Heaume, Basinet, Cask, Salet, etc. Although these were all terms to denote coverings for the head in time of war, still they differed not only in name, but in shape. Our custom of bearing the Crest on the Helmat is borrowed from the ancient fashion of adorning it with some kind of device, to make it appear terrible to the enemy. Helmets are now used as the distinctive marks of Nobility, and are differenty depicted. They are frequently met with as charges in Coat Armour, and are also borne singly as Crests. The helmet of a King, or Prince, is full faced, with six bars, all of gold, and lined inside with crimson. The Helmet of a Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, and Baron, is of steel, garnished with gold, placed in profile with five bars, lined with crimson. The Helmet of a Baronet, or Knight, is of steel, ornamented with gold, and is shewn full-faced, with beaver open, lined with crimson. The Helmet of an Esquire, or Gentleman, is a steel profile Helmet, ornamented with gold, the beaver close. Helmet with Vizor raised. If two Helmets are placed on one shield to support two different crests, they are usually set face to face.

Helved. A term to express the handle of an axe, adze, hammer, etc., when of a different tincture. See Haft.

Hemp-break or Hackle. An instrument formerly used to break or bruise hemp.

Herald. An officer of Arms. The duties of a Herald were originally of a military and deplomatic character, but have for centuries been confined to matters relating to Armorial Bearings, Genealogy, and the Superintendence of Public Ceremonies.

Heraldic-antelope. A fabulous animal represented with two straight horns, the body of a Stag, the tail of a Unicorn, a tusk issuing from the tip of its nose, a row of tufts down the back of the neck, on the chest and thighs.

Heraldic-Tiger. A fictitious beast, depicted with a hooked tusk at the nose, and with a mane formed of tufts.

Heralds College or College of Arms. A Royal Corporation instituted in the reign of Rich. III. It's head is the hereditary Earl Marshal of England, the Duke of Norfolk, and its officers are divided into three classes, viz., Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants of Arms, whose precedence is regulated by seniority of appointment. The King's of Arms are three; the first, or chief, is termed Garter principal King of Arms, the second Clarenceux, and the third Norroy, (See Bath King of Arms.) The number of Heralds is six, viz., Windsor, Chester, Lancaster, Richmond, Somerset, and York. There have been, at different periods, other Heralds whose titles are now laid aside. Heralds extraordinary have also been occasionally created. The Pursuivants are four, viz.. Rouge Croix, Blue Mantle, Rouge Dragon, and Portcullis. Besides the Heralds College of London, there is Lyon Office, Edinburgh, and the Office of Arms, Dublin. These have cognizance of the Heraldry of Scotland and Ireland respectively; each has one King of Arms, Lord Lyon and Ulster.

Heraldry. Intimately connected with the early history of Europe, its chivalry, and its conquests. Is the science of armorial bearings; how to blazon or describe them in proper terms, and to Marshal or dispose the different arms in an escutcheon or shield.

Herand and Herault. A Herald.

Herce. See Harrow.

Hercules. Called by the Greeks Heracles and Alcides, the most celebrated hero of the Mythological age of Greece. Hercules is depicted as a naked man holding a club, and his shoulders are enwrapped with a Lion's skin.

Hereditary. That has descended from an ancestor to an heir. See Arms Paternal.

Herisse. Set with long sharp points, as a hedgehog.

Herisson. The hedgehog.

Hermines. Ermine represented by Ermines; i.e. white ermine spots on black.

Hermit. One who retires from society to contemplation and devotion, and frequently in blazon is termed a Monk or Friar.

Hern or Herne. See Heron.

Heron or Heronshaw. A large bird with long slender legs, neck and bill.

Herring. A small sea-fish. This is also blazoned a Cob-Fish, or Sea-Cob.

Herse. Same as Portcullis.

Heurt. See Hurt.

Hieroglyphics. Symbolical figures.

Hill or Hillock. Also termed Molehill.

Hilt. The handle of a sword, which is termed Hilted when the tincture has to be named.

Hind. The female of the stag.

Hinge. A joint on which a door, gate, etc., turns.

Hippocampus. A sea horse. Sometimes represented having the entire lore part of a horse, ending in the tail of a dolphin.

Hippocentaur. See Centaur.

Hippogriff. A fabulous animal, with a Griffin's body, terminating in that of a horse.

Hirondelle. A Swallow.

Hirundo. A Swallow.

Hoby. A Falcon.

Hogshead. See Tun.

Hoist. The depth of any flag from chief to base; also its head or upper side.

Hollen. See Holly.

Holly or Hex. The sprig, branch, and leaf, are all met with in armoury.

Holy Bible. See Book.

Holy or Paschal Lamb. Represented passant with a cross-staff, banner argent, thereon a cross gules, over the head a glory or.

Honour Point. See Points of the Shield.

Honoured. Crowned.

Honourable Ordinaries. See Ordinaries.

Hood. The caul, coif, or cowl of a hermet.

Hooded. Said of a hawk, when borne with its hood on.

Hooded-crow. See Crow.

Hoofed. See Unguled.

Hook. Also termed Fish-hook, Flesh-hook, Hay-hook, Praning-hook, Reaping-hook, Shave-hook, and Tenter-hook.


Hop. Also termed Houblon. A plant.

Horn. The Trumpet, is sometimes called a horn. In Heraldry the term Horn is used to denote. I. The horns of an animal; see term armed. II. A Musical Instrument, blazoned a Cornet. III. A Bugle, or Hunting Horn. IV. The extremities of a, Crescent which are called its horns, and anything- placed within them, is said to be between the Horns; when anything is placed between and above the horns, it is said to be Issuant, or Out of.

Horned. When the horns are of a different tincture from the animal it is said to be horned, or armed. A Stag is said to be Attired.

Horned Owl. See Owl.

Horologium. An hour-glass.

Horse. A Draught-horse, distinguished by having a collar and traces. The Badge of the Earl of Pembroke. Much used in armory.

Hospitallers, Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Iinstituted about A.D. 1092. They wore over their armour a black robe, having a white linen cross of eight points fastened to the left breast. Between the year 1278 and 1289, when engaged in military duties, they assumed a red surcoat bearing a silver cross. See Knights Templers. Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England. On the 14th May, 1888, Her Majesty the Queen was graciously pleased to grant a, Charter of Incorporation to "The Grand Priory of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England" and to "declare that Her Majesty the Queen is the Sovereign Head and Patron of the Order, and that on the Eve of St. John the Baptist next folowing His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales shall become the Grand Prior of the Order." In consequence of the above Charter a Lion passaat guardant and a Unicorn passant placed alternately or, was added to the angles of the Cross in the arms. On the 11th March, 1889, Her Majesty the Queen was graciously pleased to allow the Members and Honourary Associates of this Order in England to wear generally the Insignia of their respective grades in the said Order, as provided for in the Royal Charter of Incorporation of the 14th May, 1888.

Houblon. See Hop.

Houce des armes. See Surcoat.

Hound. See Dog.

Hourglass. Also sandglass.

Houseleek. See Sengreen.

Housing. The embroidered caparison of a horse.

Hovering. As an eagle with wings displayed. See also Disclosed, and Flotant.

Huert. See Hurt.

Huit-foil. Eight-foil, or double quaterfoil. The mark of cadency for the ninth son.

Hulk. The body of a ship.

Human figure. See Man.

Human skull. See Death's-head.

Humet. A fesse couped is so termed. See Humettée.

Humettée, Humetty, couped or coppée. An ordinary which is cut off so that the extremities do not touch the sides of the shield.

Hunter's or Hunting-horn or Cornet. See Bugle Horn and Cornet.

Hurchin. A hedgehog.

Hure. A term for the head of a wild boar, bear, wolf, and other such like animals, but not for those of lions.

Hurst. A wood, or thicket of trees.

Hurt, Heurts or Huerts. Blue roundles.

Hurtee. Semée of Hurts.

Hurty or Semee of Hurts. Anything is so termed when powdered, or strewed over promiscuously with Hurts.

Husband and Wife, arms of. See Arms Impaled.

Husk. The term Husk in heraldry is applied to the cup of the acorn. When the acorn and cup are of different tinctures, the former is said to be husked. See Acorn.

Hyacinth. A precious stone, used in blazon to express the colour tenne.

Hydra. A fabulous monster with seven heads.

Hymeneal-torch. A torch bound with ribbons, flames issuant.

Hyrst. See Hurst.



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The Heraldry Dictionary by Armorial Gold Heraldry Services is provided as a free resource tool for Heraldry enthusiasts. The Heraldry Dictionary and the information contained therein, has been researched through original manuscripts and Armorial Gold’s own sources.  Reproduction in any form is prohibited. All rights reserved.