A Fess between two Chevrons

There are some coats of arms that, plain or coloured, seem to be instantly recognisable.  The lion of Scotland in its very distinctive “double tressure flory counter-flory” is one of the more notable examples.

Such, for a short time, I thought was the “fess between two chevrons.”  Seen occasionally it did not look like the kind of arrangement that would ever be a popular choice, like the lion rampant or a chevron between three roses.  The Tendring family in Norfolk used it, and the Seneschalls and Trevanions in the West Country.  I was, however, surprised to find that there were seventeen families in my West Country list using one or more variants of “a fess between two chevrons.”


Branches of the Trevanion family have displayed at least five variations of the theme.

Fess between two chevrons Trevanion.png


The Sewards contribute, maybe, another four, although Baring-Gould rightly draws our attention to the absurdity of gold leopard heads on a gold fess.

Fess between two chevrons Seward

Seneschall and their descendants through the female line, the Hills of Trenethick, are recorded as using two variants.

Fess between two chevrons Seneschall

Fess between two chevrons Hill

One of those variants was also borne by de Lisle

Fess between two chevrons Lisle

Lyde livens thing up a little by adding flowers on the fess.

Fess between two chevrons Lyde



The Davent and Grandin families seem to have shared the same arms, with the fess and chevrons in red on a gold field.

Fess between two chevrons Davent

Fess between two chevrons Grandin

Treworeck of Bosugan bore the fess between two chevrons with the common Cornish addition of three Cornish choughs.

Fess between two chevrons Treworeck

Hopham, as shown in a manuscript pedigree of the Lower family, bore the same, or maybe three martlets.  Maybe the chevrons are cotised, but what do you think?

Fess between two chevrons Hopham


Austen of Great Deviock in St Germans and Walpole Earls of Orford both wore, as described by the Lysons brothers, the same coat.  There does not appear to be any family connection between them.

Fess between two chevrons WalpoleFess between two chevrons Austen



Also with crosses on the fess are the arms of Brigge.   Although the crosses are not described as having any decoration, I was tempted to shown them moline.  The arms could then, with a little imagination, appear like a stylised picture of a bridge, showing two arches and a deck with wall ties.  (Actually, I hate it when people invent such explanations of coats-of-arms, but it has to be admitted that spurious accounts of origins have been around almost as long as heraldry itself.)

Fess between two chevrons Brigge


The Bosvargus family used a couple of variants.  If you want to believe that the bezants are a canting component of the coat, feel free, but don’t say I suggested it.

Fess between two chevrons Bosvargas


Two variants are also recorded for Mallack.  The charges on the fess are described as “3 botlers’ heads erased.”  Usually, “botler” might be taken for a variant spelling of “butler.” In this case I think it is a variant of “bottour,” “botaurus,” the bittern, and I have drawn it as such.

Fess between two chevrons Mallock

Lambourne has the most basic version of the set, just black charges on a white background.

Fess between two chevrons Lambourne


And finally, the unlovely arms of Goodyear.

Fess between two chevrons Goodyer


Make that eighteen families, I missed



P.P.S 14th January 2018

Just noticed, in Tristram Risdon’s notebook, that Bartholomew Pechee, sheriff of Somerset temp. Henry III, bore “…, a fess between two chevrons Gu.”



















Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s