EAGLE. Aquila in Ornithology. In heraldry the eagle is accounted one of the most noble bearings, and ought to be given only to such as greatly excel in the virtues of generosity and courage, or for having done some singular service to their sovereign.
EAGLET is a diminutive of eagle, properly signifying a young eagle. In Heraldry, when several eagles are on the same escutcheon, they are termed eaglets.
EARL. The third degree of British peerage. Under the Danish and Saxon kings this was the highest title known in England conferred upon a subject. It was formerly the custom upon creating an earl to assign him, for the support of his state, the third penny from the fines and profits of the sheriff’s court, issuing out of the pleas of the shire whence the earl took his title; as, formerly, there was no count or earl but had a county or shire for his earldom. When the number of earls was increased, they took their titles from towns and villages. An earl is now created by patent.
EARL-MARSHAL OF ENGLAND. A very ancient, and formerly a very important, officer, who had several courts under his jurisdiction, as the Court of Chivalry, the Court of Honour. He still presides over the Heralds’ College, and nominally over the Marshalsea Court.
EASTERN CROWN. A crown with rays proceeding from a circle, called by heralds an Eastern crown, is found in ancient achievements.
EMBATTLED. A line, formed like the battlements on a wall or tower, is said to be embattled or crenelle. When the line is used to form one of the ordinaries, it is said to be embattled.
EMBATTLED GRADY. Where the battlements gradually rise one above another.
EMBOWED. Anything bent or curved, like a bow.
EMERALD. The name of a precious stone formerly substituted for vert in emblazoning the arms of the nobility of England.
EN ARRIÈRE. An expression borrowed from the French, to signify any creature borne with its back to view.
ENDORSE. The smallest diminutive of the pale.
ENGRAILED. Any object being edged with small semi-circles, the points turning outwards, is said to be engrailed.
ENHANCED. A term applied to bearings placed above their usual situation.
ENSIGNED. This word, in heraldic description, means ornamented.
ERASED. Signifies anything torn or plucked off from the part to which nature affixed it; generally applied to the head and limbs of man or beast. [Erased features should have some sort of ragged edge so as to be different from Couped or Caboshed.]
ERECT. This is said of any animal or parts of animals, naturally horizontal, being placed in a perpendicular direction.
ERMINE. A white fur with black spots.
ERMINES. This fur is represented by white spots on a black field.
ERMINOIS. A fur, the field, or, the spots or tufts, sable.
ESCALOP. The shell of a sea-fish, used to decorate the palmers on their way to and from Palestine; frequently used as a charge in Heraldry.
ESCUTCHEON. This word is sometimes used to express the whole coat of arms, sometimes only the field upon which the arms are painted. It more generally denotes the painted shields used at funerals. The field, if the husband is dead and wife survives, is black on the dexter side only; if the wife is deceased, it is black on the sinister side; if both, it is black all over.
ESCUTCHEON OF PRETENCE. A small escutcheon, on which a man bears the coat of arms of his wife, being an heiress.
ESQUIRE. The degree below a knight and above a gentleman. Those to whom this title is due by right, are all the younger sons of noblemen and their heirs male forever, the four esquires of the king’s body, the eldest sons of baronets, of all knights and of their heirs male: those who bear superior offices, as magistrates, high sheriffs, mayors, and aldermen, have it during their continuance in office and no longer.
ESTOILE. The French word for a star. It differs from the mullet in the number of points, and four of the points being rayant.