The Banner Display'dEdit
From Beasts of the Field, and Beasts of the Forest, which are indeed tame and sociable in respect of those we call savage; we shall go on to give some few Examples of such as are in a kind of middle State, between Gentle and Fierce; and these are the Unicorn and the Camel. We shall not stand there disputing, as some do, whether there be any such Creature as an Unicorn (the Decision of that Controversy being beside our present Purpose) but take it for granted, that there are, seeing we have so often beheld their Forms in Escocheons, and been told so by the Learned in Natural History.
The Field is Argent, an Unicorn seiant Sable, armed and unguled Or; by the Name of Harling. The Unicorn hath his Name of the one Horn in his Forehead, which Horn, is not only of great Strength, but also of excellent Virtue; insomuch that the fame is accounted the most powerful Antidote against Poison. From whence the Bearing of the Unicorn is a Representation both of Strength and Courage, and also of virtuous Dispositions and Ability to do Good; for to have Strength of Body, without the Gifts and good Qualities of the Mind, is but the Quality of the Ox: But where both concur, that may truly be called Manliness.
He beareth Gules, an Unicorn tripping Argent, armed and unguled Or; by the Name of Musterton. Farnesius seems to intimate, that the Unicorn is a proper Bearing for a valiant Soldier; for (saith he) such is the Greatness of his Mind, that he chuseth rather to die, than to be taken alive: In like Manner, the valiant Man doth so far contemn Death, that he chuses to lose his Life, rather than be compelled to any base Servitude or Bondage.
He beareth Azure, an Unicorn tripping Argent; by the Name of Bernard of France.
The Field is Sable, three Unicorns in Pale, current Argent, armed Or; by the Name of Farrington of Berkshire. This Beast was highly honoured in being the Supports of the Sovereign Ensigns of the Kingdom of Scotland; and from hence it is, that (according to Smithurst, who often has a shrewd Guess at Truth) the Bearing of him in Armes is taken to signify Service done in or to that Kingdom.
He beareth Gules, three Unicorns Heads couped Or; by the Name of Paris of Cambridgeshire. Motto, Vive ut Vivas. Robert Paris of Hildersham, was High-Sheriff of this County and Huntingdonshire, 10 Rich. 2. Dr. Fuller believes, and not without Reason, that Matthew Paris the Historian, was of this Family, because he was born in the next County.— He was a Monk at St. Alban's, skilled in Poetry, Oratory and Divinity, as also in Painting, Graving, &c. but this chief Genius was in writing of Histories, wherein he wrote a large Chronicle, from the Conquest to the Year of our Lord 1250. where he concludes with this Distich:
Siste tui metas studii, Matthæe, quietas,
Nec ventura petas, quæ postera proferat ætas.
Matthew here cease thy Pen in Peace, and study on no more,
Nor do thou aim at Things to come, which next Age hath in Store.
Yet, resuming the Work, he continu'd it to 1259. 40 Hen. 3. in which Year he left off, both living and writing.
He beareth Argent, three Unicorns Heads couped Gules; by the Name of Cottingham of Surrey.
Shelley; Gules, three Unicorns Heads couped Argent.
Preston; Argent, three Unicorns Heads couped Sable.
A display of heraldryEdit
He beareth Argent, an Unicorn Seiant, Sable, armed and unguled, Or, by the Name of Harling. The Unicorn hath his name of his one horn on his forehead. There is another Beast of a huge strength and greatness, which hath but one horn, but that is growing on his Snout, whence he is called Rinoceros, and both are named Monoceros, or One-horned. It hath been much questioned amongst Naturalists, which it is that is properly called the Unicorn: and some have made doubt whether there be any such Beast as this, or no. But the great esteem of his horn (in many places to be seen) may take away that needless scruple.
He beareth Gules, an Unicorn tripping, Argent, Armed and Unguled, Or, by the Name of Musterton. Touching the invincible Nature of this Beast, Job saith, Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great, and cast thy labour unto him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy Barn? And this Vertue is no less famoused than his Strength, in that his horn is supposed to be the most powerful Antidote against Poison: Insomuch as the general conceit is, That the wild Beasts of the Wilderness use not to drink of the Pools, for fear of venomous Serpents there breeding, before the Unicorn hath stirred it with his horn. Howsoever it be, this Charge may very well be a representation both of strength or courage, and also of vertuous dispositions and ability to do good; for to have strength of body without the gifts and good qualities of the mind, is but the property of an Ox, but where both occur, that may truly be called manliness. And that these two should consort together, the Ancients did signifie, when they made this one word, Virtus, to imply both the strength of body, and vertue of the mind.
He beareth Sable, three Unicorns in Pale, current, Argent, Armed, Or, by the Name of Farrington. It seemeth by a question moved by Farnesius, That the Unicorn is never taken alive; and the reason being demanded, it is answered, That the greatness of his mind is such, that the chuseth rather to die than to be taken alive: wherein (saith he) the Unicorn and the valiant minded Souldier are alike, which both contemn death, and rather than they will be compelled to undergo any base servitude or bondage, they will lose their lives.
He beareth Gules, 3 Unicors heads, couped, Argent, by the Name of Shelly. The Unicorn is an untamable Beast by nature, as may be gathered by the words of Job, chap. 39. Will the Unicorn serve thee, or will he tarry by thy crib? Canst thou bind the Unicorn with his band to labour in the furrow, or will he plough the valleys after thee?
He beareth Argent, a Cheveron, Ermyns, between three Unicorns heads couped, Sable, by the Nae of Head, and is the Coat-Armour of Sir Richard Head of the City of Rochester in Kent, Baronet.