“H” Terms

HABERGEON. A coat of mail: it is also called a corslet and cuirass.

HABITED. Clothed figures, either as charges or supporters, are said to be habited.

HARPY. A chimerical animal, having the head and breast of a woman, and the body and legs of a bird.

HAURIENT. A fish, in a perpendicular direction, with its head upwards.

HELMET. An ancient piece of defensive armour for the head; it covered the face, leaving an aperture in the front, secured by bars: this was called the visor. The helmet is now placed over a coat of arms; and by the metal from which it is made, the form, and position, denotes the rank of the person whose arms are emblazoned beneath it.

  • The helmets of sovereigns are formed of burnished gold; those of princes and peers, of every degree, silver figured with gold; knights, esquires, and gentlemen, polished steel.
  • The helmets of the king, the royal family, and peers, are open-faced and grated: the number of bars served formerly to distinguish the bearer’s quality. The helmets of knights are open-faced, without bars. Esquires and gentlemen are known by the close helmet.
  • The position of the helmet is a mark of distinction. The direct front view of the grated helmet belongs to sovereign princes and dukes.
  • The grated helmet in profile is common to all degrees of peerage under a duke.
  • The helmet without bars, with the beaver open, standing directly fronting the spectator, denotes a knight.
  • The closed helmet seen in profile is appropriated to esquires and gentlemen.


HERALD. An officer at arms, whose business it is to declare war, proclaim peace, marshal all the solemnities at the coronation; baptisms, marriages, and funerals of the sovereign and nobility; and to ascertain and blazon coats of arms.

HILTED. The handle of a sword tinctured.

HONOUR POINT. That part of the shield between the precise middle chief and the fess point.

HORNED. This term is used to denote that the horn of a unicorn is of a different tincture from his body.

HUMET*.  Humet is a rare term used to describe a Fess which is couped, so as to not touch the sides of the shield.

HUMETTY. A term used to denote an ordinary, parts of which are couped or cut off, so that it does not touch the edges of the shield.

HURTS. Blue roundlets: the colour is expressed in the name; therefore the tincture is not otherwise named in emblazoning a coat of arms.

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