Page images
PDF
EPUB

the pearl above the leaves ; that of a viscount is surrounded with pearls only; that of a baron has only four pearls. Besides these there are ducal, mural, naval; and civic crowns.

COUNT. English counts are distinguished by the title of earls ; foreign ones still retain their proper name.

The dignity of a count is a medium between that of a duke and a baron: All generals, counsellors, judges, secretaries of cities under Charlemagne were called counts; the characteristic of a duke and a count was, that the latter had but one town under him, but the former several. In the Roman commonwealth, comites was a general naine for all those who accompanied the pro-consuls and proprætors into the provinces. Under the emperors, comites were the officers of the palace. Counts seem to derive their origin from Augustus, who took several senators to accompany him in his voyages and travels, and to assist him in hearing causes' which were determined with the same' authority as in full senate.' Gallienus abolished this cotincil, by forbidding the senators to be found in the armies. It was not re-established by any of his successors. Constantine was the first who converted the title, count, into a dignity. The name once established," was soon conferred, not only on those who followed the courts, and accompanied the emperor, but also on most officers. Under the last of the second race of French kings, the dignity was rendered hereditary; and even usurped the sovereignty, when Hugh Capet came to the crown. His authority was not sufficient to oppose the encroachments of the counts, and hence the privilege of wearing coronets in their arnis is dated. They assumed it then, as enjoying the rights of sovereigns in their particular districts, or counties ; but by degrees, most of the counties, became re-united to the

crown.

Crest. This is the most elevated part of the headarmour, and is said to be derived from crista a cock's comb. It was originally a protection from the edge of the sword, when aimed at ihe upper part of the skull. The knights who celebrated justs or tournaments wore plumes of the heron and ostrich feathers, with crests of various materials, which were altered at pleasure; they are of great antiquity, and of superior honour. The creșt should possess

the highest place next to the mantle, but should permit the interposition of a scroll, wreath, chapeau, or crown.

CROWN. See Coronet.

Czar, a title assumed by the grand dukes, or emperor of Russia. The natives pronounce it tzar or zaar, and this by corruption from Cæsar, emperor, on account of some fancied relation to the Roman emperors. For this reason, they also bear the eagle as a symbol of that empire. The first who took the title of czar was Basil, who freed his country from its subjection to the Tartars, about 1470.

Dey is the title of the sovereign of Algiers, uöder the protection of the grand seignior. A prince under this title was appointed by the sultan, at the request of the Turkish soldiers, in the year 1710. The term dey, in the Turkish language, signifies an uncle by the mother's side: and the reason of the denomination is, that the Turkish military consider the grand seignior as their father, the republic as their mother, by which they are nourished and maintained, and the dey as the brother of the republic, and consequently, the uncle of all who are under his domiuion. Besides age, experience, and valour, which are necessary qualifications, he must also be a native Turk, and have made the voyage to Mecca. He has no guards, nor considerable retinue: he presides at the divan, and is most distinguished by the respect and submission which are paid to him,

DOGE, formerly a chief magistrate in the republics of Venice and Genoa. The word properly signifies duke, being formed from the Latiu word dur, as dogate and dogado, from ducatus, duchy. The dignity of doge is elective: at Venice, he was elected for life ; at Genoa, only for two years; the title of serenity, with which he is addressed, is considered by the Venetians as superior to that of highness. The doge nominates to all the benefices in the church of St. Mark.

DUKE ; a prince, without the title or quality of king. Such are the duke of Lorrain, and duke of Holstein. There are also two sovereigns, who bear the title of great duke; as the grand duke of Tuscany, and the grand duke of Muscovy, now called the czar or emperor. The

of Germany is arch-duke of Austria. Duke implies also a title of honour or nobility the next below prioces. It is a Roman dignity; and the first dukes (duces) were com

emperor

manders of armies. Under the latter emperors, the governors of provinces were entitled duces. The first governor under the name of duke, was that of the Grisons. When the Goths and Vandals over-ran the provinces of the western empire, they abolished the Roman dignities. But the Franks and others divided all Gaul into dutchies and counties, and gave the names, sometimes of dukes, and sometimes of counts, (comites) to the governors of them.

In England, during the time of the Saxons, the officers and commanders of armies were called dukes, after the manner of the antient Romans.

After the conqueror's time, the title lay dormant, till the reign of Edward III, who created his son Edward, first called the black prince, duke of Corpwall. Afterwards more were made, whose titles descended to posterity. They were created with much solemnity. The dukes of our days retain nothing of their autient splendour or sovereignty but the coronet on their escocheon. They are created by patent, cincture of the sword, mantle of state, imposition of a cap, and coronet of gold on the head, and a verge of gold in their hand. The eldest sons of dukes are, by the courtesy of England, styled marquisses, and the younger sons, lords. A duke has the title of grace: and being written to, is styled, in the herald's language, most high potent and noble prince. Dukes of the blood royal are styled, most high, inost mighty, and illustrious princes. The coronet of a duke is distinguished by being adorned with strawberry leaves.

EARL; an English title of honour, or degree of nobility, next below a marquis, and above a viscount. Earls were antiently attendants or associates of the king in his councils, and martial expeditions ; as comites (counts) were of the magistrates of Rome. Hence also, earls are called in Latin comites ; in French comtes, &c. The Germans call them grave, as landgrave, margrave, palsgrave, &c. the Saxons, coldermen: the Danes, corlas ; and the English, earls. Originally, the title earl always died with the pos

William the conqueror first made it hereditary; giving it in fee to his nobles; and annexing to it a shire or county. Earls are now created by charter, without

any authority over, or particular relation to their counties; and without any profit arising thence, except some honorary stipend out of the exchequer. Ap-earl is created by cinc

sessor.

ture of sword, mantle, a cap, and a coronet put on his head, and a charter in his hand. They are styled by the king, consanguinei nostri, our cousins. Their title is, most noble and potent lord. The coronet of an earl has the pearls raised above the leaves.

EARL MARSHAL. One of the great officers of the crown, who takes cognizance of all matters touching honour and arms. He determines all questions and differences that

may arise between heralds and other persons, concerning pedigrees, bonour, arms, crests, supporters and armorial ensigns. He bears a staff of gold tipped with black, baving the king's arms enamelled on one end, and his own at the other, and takes his place with the lord great chamberlain. Assisted by the kings and heralds, he marshals and orders the proclamation and coronation of our kings, their marriages, christenings, funeral obsequies, cavalcades, royal interviews, and feasts.

EMPEROR, among the Romans signified a general of an army, who, for some extraordinary success, had been complimented with this appellation. It afterwards devoted an absolute monarch, or supreme commander of an empire. It is pretended that the imperial dignity is more eminent than the regul; the greatest and most absolute monarchs, however, as those of Babylon, Persia, Assyria, and Egypt, were called kings in all languages, antient and modern. In the east, the title and quality of emperor are more frequent than among us ; thus the sovereign princes of China, Mogul, Persia, &c. are all emperors, In 1723, the czar of Muscovy assumed the title of emperor of Russia. The kings of England had antiently the title of emperors; as appears from a charter of king Edgar. Ego Edgarus, Anglorum basilicus, omniumque regum insularum oceani quæ Britanniam circumjacent, &c. IMPERATOR et DOMINUS. The crown of England has been long since declared in parliament to be an imperial crown, and since the union with Ireland, our parliament is styled an “ imperial parliament.

ERMINE, signifies black spots on a white field, but if the word plain be used with it, denotes nothing but white furs. It is supposed to represent the skin of an animal of the same denomination. There is no animal whose skin naturally corresponds :o the herald's ermine. The animal is milk-white; and so far is it from being spotted, that it will rather die, or be taken, than sully its whiteness ; whence its symbolical use. But white skins, having for many ages, been used for the robes of magistrates and great men, the furriers, at length, to add to their beauty, used to sew bits of black upon the white, to render them more conspicuous.

ESCOCHEON, or shield, called by the Romans scutum, is the principal surface on which the emblems are painted. Accidents in the escocheon are points and abatements. There are nine points in an escocheon: three on the upper part, of which the middle one is called the chief ; that in the right corner the dexter chief; and that in the left corner the sinister chief. Three perpendicularly in the middle part of the shield: the first, named the honour point ; the second, the fuss point; the third, the navel point. Three points horizontally at the bottom: the middle one called the base point; the other two the dexter, and sinister base points. Tinctures are armorial colours; there are nine; as 1. Or, gold, represented on copper-plate prints by small points. 2. Argent, silver, without any points, by the whiteness of the paper. 3. Azure,--batches or strokes from side to side across the shield. 4. Gules, lines from top to bottom. 5. Sable,-hatches crossing each other. 6. Vert,—from dexter chief to sinister base. 7. Purpure,

from sinister chief to dexter base. 8. Tenne,--cross hatches from right to left, and from left to right. 9. Sanguin,-hatches from right to left, and others from side to side. See Abatements

ESQUIRE. This word is derived from the French escu, and the Latin scutum, which signify a hide, of which shields were antiently made, and afterwards covered. An esquire was originally the person who, attending a knight in the time of war carried his shield: whence he was called escuier in French, and scutifer, or armiger, i. e. armour-bearer, in Latin. Those called esquires by the French, were military vassals, having jus scuti, viz. liberty to wear a shield, and painted on it the ensigns of their family, in token of their gentility. It is now considered merely as a title of diguity, and next in degree to a knight. Officers of the king's court, and of the king's household, counsellors at law, justices of the peace, are only esquires

« PreviousContinue »