1. Fess Point – In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield that forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms. The word is used in two related senses, firstly, as the shield on which a coat of arms is displayed. Escutcheon shapes are derived from actual shields used by knights in combat, other shapes are in use, such as the roundel commonly used for arms granted to Aboriginal Canadians by the Canadian Heraldic Authority. Secondly, a shield can itself be a charge within a coat of arms, more often, a smaller shield is placed over the middle of the main shield as a form of marshalling. In either case, the shield is usually given the same shape as the main shield. When there is one such shield, it is sometimes called an inescutcheon. The word escutcheon is derived from Middle English escochon, from Anglo-Norman escuchon, from Vulgar Latin scūtiōn-, from Latin scūtum, from its use in heraldry, escutcheon can be a metaphor for a familys honour. The idiom a blot on the escutcheon is used to mean a stain on somebodys reputation, by about 1250 the shields used in warfare were almost triangular in shape, referred to as heater shields. That on the monument to the latters grandfather Geoffrey V. This almost equilateral shape is used as a setting for armorials from this classical age of heraldry. In the Tudor era the heraldic escutcheon took the shape of an inverted Tudor arch, continental European designs frequently use the various forms used in jousting, which incorporate mouths used as lance rests into the shields, such escutcheons are known as à bouche. The mouth is correctly shown on the side only, as jousting pitches were designed for right-handed knights. Heraldic examples of English shields à bouche can be seen in the spandrels of the timber roof of Lincolns Inn Hall. In this case the lozenge is without crest or helm, again objects of manly warfare, however, for the practical purpose of categorisation the lozenge may be treated as a variety of heraldic escutcheon. In general a female was represented by her paternal arms impaled by the arms of her husband on an escutcheon, in modern Canadian heraldry, and certain other modern heraldic jurisdictions, women may be granted their own arms and display these on an escutcheon. Life peeresses in England display their arms on a lozenge, an oval or cartouche is occasionally also used instead of the lozenge for armigerous women. Divorced women may theoretically until remarriage use their ex-husbands arms differenced with a mascle, the lozenge shape of quasi-escutcheon is also used for funerary hatchments for both men and women. Pretoria High School for Girls in South Africa is one of the few schools that was granted permission to use the lozenge as part of its coat of armsFess Point – Effigy of William II Longespee (d.1250) in Salisbury Cathedral, showing an early triangular heater shield, the shape used as the "canvas" for the display of arms during the classical age of heraldry
2. British heraldry – The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as the handmaid of history, the shorthand of history, in modern times, heraldry is used by individuals, public and private organizations, corporations, cities, towns, and regions to symbolize their heritage, achievements, and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent individuals or groups for thousands of years, similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, and the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can also be found. In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, the Greek and Latin writers frequently describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, and units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, the medieval heralds also devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, and the arms attributed to the Nine Worthies. These too are now regarded as an invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to an individual, time. Yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic, in England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. A notable example of an armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders. Seals from the part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism. One of the earliest known examples of armory as it came to be practiced can be seen on the tomb of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou. An enamel, probably commissioned by Geoffreys widow between 1155 and 1160, depicts him carrying a shield decorated with six golden lions rampant. He wears a helmet adorned with another lion, and his cloak is lined in vair. A medieval chronicle states that Geoffrey was given a shield of this description when he was knighted by his father-in-law, Henry I, in 1128, but this account probably dates to about 1175. Since Henry was the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, it seems reasonable to suppose that the adoption of lions as an emblem by Henry or his sons might have been inspired by Geoffreys shield. Richard is also credited with having originated the English crest of a lion statant and it is from this garment that the phrase coat of arms is derivedBritish heraldry – The German Hyghalmen Roll was made in the late 15th century and illustrates the German practice of repeating themes from the arms in the crest. (See Roll of arms).