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Journalists’ &
Authors’ Guide to Heraldry and Titles

Differencing Chapter One

Laing of that Ilk
Differencing a.k.a. Cadency

Chapter Ten

Modifying lines

IN THE EARLIEST TIMES the variation of the lines of an ordinary or sub-ordinary was a simple means to difference shields within a family, appearing in most cases to follow on after other differences had already been applied. The famous family of la Zouche offers a good example. The arms of the senior branch, Gules ten bezants 4, 3, 2 and 1, became for a junior branch Gules bezanty and then later, acknowledging a claim to Brittany, ermine was added.
The specimens shown here begin with an ermine chief, then an ermine quarter, then an ermine canton, and finally, as an example of what this chapter examines, a canton with its base indented.
Arms of Richard la Zouche Arms of John la Zouche Arms of William la Zouche
Arms of Roger la Zouche
Richard la Zouche
Roger la Zouche
John la Zouche
William la Zouche
Arbuthnott provides another example, the embattlement of a bordure, but bordures will be treated separately in a later article.
Arms of Arbuthnott of Balglessie
Arms of Arbuthnott of that Ilk Arms of Arbuthnott of Auchterforfar Arms of Arbuthnott of Findowrie
Arbuthnott of that Ilk, Viscount of Arbuthnott
Arbuthnott of Auchterforfar
Arbuthnott of Findowrie
Arbuthnott of Balglessie
The Bruce family provides some earlier examples.
Arms of Bruce of Balcaskie Arms of Bruce of Newton Arms of Bruce of Garbet Arms of Bruce of Mowanes
Bruce of Balcaskie
Bruce of Newton
Bruce of Garbet
Bruce of Mowanes
An interesting variation on the theme can be found in the Drummond family where Drummond of Concraig and Borlands has taken the wavy line from the Chief’s Or three bars wavy to act as a partition line in fess between the livery colours. This is undoubtedly a fine example of uncluttered, elegant and easily distinguished heraldry.
Arms of Drummond of Concraig and Borlands
Arms of Drummond of Stobhall
Drummond of Concraig
Drummond of Stobhall



Chapter 1 - Minor Brisures
Chapter 2 - Geratting and Change of Tinctures
Chapter 3 - Addition of an Ordinary
Chapter 4 - Changing Charges
Chapter 5 - The Label
Chapter 6 - The Canton and Quarter
Chapter 7 ~ The Inescutcheon
Chapter 8 ~ The Diagonals
Chapter 9 ~ Additional Charges
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