V, in tricking, stands for vert. Vache, (fr.), cow. See Bull. Vair, (fr. vairé), generally written vairy when definite tinctures are named: a party-coloured fur, properly argent and azure, which tinctures are always implied when no others are mentioned; but, as will be seen, it occurs even in the early rolls of different tinctures. For instance, at the siege of Carlaverock 'the valiant Robert DE LA WARDE, who wards his banner so well,' bore it 'vairy of white and of black.'
Apres li vi-je tout premier Ke ben sa baniere rewarde
Le vaillant Robert de la Warde Vairie est de blanc e de noir.
The origin of the name is not clear, but the most probable conjecture is that it is derived from a little animal whose fur was much in request, the ver, or vair, differently spelt, and which appears in Latin as varus. The word seems to have been used independently of heraldry for fur, and the following curious error may be noted in passing. The familiar fairy tale of Cinderella was brought to us from the French, and the slippers made of this costly fur, written probably verré for vairé, were erroneously translated 'glass slippers,' which of course was an impossible material, but has been repeated in all nursery tale-books.
Menu-vair is used by French heralds when there are more than four rows, the term being considered as implying a diminutivevair. It is borne much by Flemish families, possibly in connection with trade associations. The menu-vair, or, as we call it, minever, was a term used in the Middle Ages for the furlining of robes of state. Beffroi, or gros vair, is used when there are less than four rows. The name is evidently derived from the bell-like shape of the vair, the wordbeffroi being anciently used in the sense of the alarm-bell of a town. It is said that when French heralds use the term vair only, that four rows exactly are intended.
De menu-vair de cinq tires, au chevron de gueules--STESSIN, Flanders.
Plein de menu-vair--BANVILLE DE TRUTEMNE, Normandie.
De beffroi, d'or et d'azur--D'AUBETERRE, Champagne.
Le Conte de FERRERS.
In modern heraldry the figures of a shield-shape are generally drawn as in the second figure(arms of BEAUCHAMP), but in the older designs it was similar to that shewn in the arms of the Earl FERRERS, Earl of Derby, 1254-65, the sketch being taken from almost contemporary stained glass in Dorchester Church, Oxon; and sometimes the division lines are drawn after the same manner as nebuly.
Le Conte de FERRERS, verree de or et de goules--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
Hugh de FERRERS, vairre de argent et d'azur--Ibid.
Robert de BEAUCHAMP, de vairrie--Ibid.
Piers de MAULEE, de veirre a la manche de goules--Ibid.
Sire Hugh de MEYNI, verre de argent e de sable, e un label de goules--Roll, temp. ED. II.
Monsire John de BEAUCHAMP de Somersetshire, port de verre--Roll, temp. ED. III.
Monsire de NOWERS, port verre d'argent et de gules--Ibid.
Monsire La WARD, port verre d'argent et sable--Roll, temp. ED. III. Vairy argent and azure--BEAUCHAMP.
Vairy argent and gules--GRESLEY, Norfolk.
Vairy argent and sable--MAYNELL.
Vairé, ermine and gules--GRESLEY, Derbyshire.
Besides being applied to the field, it is often found applied to ordinaries and some few charges; and in some cases even to animals.
But different forms of vair occur, apart from the tincture. The term counter vair(fr. vairé contre vairé) has been adopted to signify that the shield-like forms instead of alternating singly alternate in pairs, so that each 'piece' represents a pair of shields united at their tops, as shewn in the margin; but this form does not seem to have been adopted in any arms which can be said to be distinctly English, though some of the families may possibly be represented in England. The form has probably arisen only from incorrect drawing.
Counter-vary or and gules--BROTIER.
De contre-vair; au franc canton d'hermine--SALPERWICK, Artois.
Vairé contrevairé d'or et d'azur--TRAINEL, Ile de France.
Vair en pointe.
Again, Vair en pointe is a term applied by Nisbet to an arrangement by which the azureshield, pointing downwards, has beneath it an argentshield, also pointing downwards, and vice versa, by which the effect shewn in the margin is produced. There are one or two coats of arms so blazoned, but it is not at all clear that this is the design meant. Also one coat appears with four tinctures.
Heraldic writers also speak of varry as meaning one of the pieces of which the vair is composed; they also use the terms vairy cuppy and vairy tassy for potentcounterpotent, perhaps from the drawings in some instances resembling cups, and that is the possible meaning of tassa. It may be said that all these variations of the ancientvair arise from mere accident(generally bad drawing), supplemented by over refinement on the part of the heraldic writers who have described them. Vallary. See Crown.
Vambraced: the term signifies that the arm is entirely covered with armour, but from the etymology of the term(avant bras) it seems that it formerly covered the fore part only. The brassarts are shewn in the illustration protecting the elbow.
Vane, (1) a Weather-cock, (fr. girouette): this device by itself seems to occur only in one coat of arms; but castles and towers are sometimes blazoned as bearing vanes, e.g. in the insignia of EDINBURGH. (See under Castle.) As regards the arms ascribed to a Lord Mayor of London in the twelfth century, they are probably of sixteenth-century invention, though not unlike earlier Merchants' marks. In Stow's Survey the weather-cocks are drawn like the figure in the margin.
Viper. See Adder. Vires, (fr.): a term derived from the Latin viriœ, and applied to a series of annuletsconjoined, generally with the smaller one in the midst. It only occurs in French blazon, and but rarely.
D'azur, à trois vires d'argent--GLATIGNY, Normandie.
Virgin: a figure of a saint, when the name is not known, may be thus blazoned, but usually only the head, or the upper portion, is shewn, and the term demi-virgin is used, as in the insignia of the MERCERS' Company. (See under Eastern Crown.) Similar figures are sometimes blazoned maidens' heads: and those in the insignia of the See of OXFORD, being veiled, are blazonednuns'heads(sometimes ladies' heads). See under Head.
Virgin Mary: the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary occurs in the insignia of one or two Sees(that of LINCOLN has already been given, see Nimbus), and of several religious foundations, and of one or two Scotch Burghs; also on those ascribed to a King of England of the tenth century. It will be seen that the Virgin is variously represented, but always with the infantSaviour.
Virols: the rings which commonly encircle Bugle-horns, (q.v.); and hence virolled or virolly, (fr. virolé), is used when a circular band of a different tincture is thus encircled. Viscount: the fourth order of the peerage of England, being the intermediate rank between earl and baron. The title was originally the official name of the deputy of an earl, whence the name vice-comes, then Shire-reeve or Sheriff of a county. It was afterwards granted as a title of honour to John, Lord Beaumont, to whom King Henry VI., 1440, gave by patent the title of Viscount Beaumont in England and France, and hence the distinguishing affix, 'The Lord Viscount' Visitations: early in the reign of Henry VIII. it was deemed advisable to collect and record genealogical and armorial information, and from this arose those journeys of the heralds termed visitations. The earliest, made by virtue of a royal commission, seems to be that of Gloucester, Worcester, Oxford, Wilts, Berks, and Stafford, in 1528-29. From this time the several counties were visited at irregular intervals until the Great Rebellion. Soon after the Restoration the practice was revived, but no commission has been issued since the Revolution. The last is dated May 13, 1686. Most of these 'Visitations' have been printed by Societies or by individuals, but some still remain only in MS., the chief being in the collections in the British Museum. Visor or Vizor: that part of the Helmet covering the face. Viure, or Wiure, or Wyer. This term, variously spelt, is said by heraldic writers to signify a very narrow fillet or riband, generally nebuly(though no case of nebuly is cited, nor has one been found) which may be placed in bend, in fesse, or otherwise. It is probably only the common English word 'wire,' which some heraldic writer has written according to old spelling.
Vivré, a French term(not in any way connected with the previous term) applied to the fesse, bend, &c. It is practically equivalent to dancetty, except that the indentations are more open, i.e. the lines forming them produce right angles, instead of the acute angles which are usually represented in the drawing of indented or dancetty. The illustration of the arms of FITZ-JOCELYNE, given under the latter word, has by chance been drawn according to the French form vivré, and the difference will at once be seen by a comparison of this with the illustration of the arms of VAVASOUR given on the same page. When applied to the bend or chevron, the appearance of rectangular steps is produced.