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.
The Sewards contribute, maybe, another four, although Baring-Gould rightly draws our attention to the absurdity of gold leopard heads on a gold fess.
Seneschall and their descendants through the female line, the Hills of Trenethick, are recorded as using two variants.
One of those variants was also borne by de Lisle
Lyde livens thing up a little by adding flowers on the fess.
The Davent and Grandin families seem to have shared the same arms, with the fess and chevrons in red on a gold field.
Treworeck of Bosugan bore the fess between two chevrons with the common Cornish addition of three Cornish choughs.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Lambourne has the most basic version of the set, just black charges on a white background.
And finally, the unlovely arms of Goodyear.
Make that eighteen families, I missed