Saltire (Period)

Saltire (Period)

Saltorel, or saltire couped (Period)

Saltorel, or saltire couped (Period)

The saltire is an heraldic ordinary, an X-shaped form intersecting the upper corners of the shield, and occupying one-third to one-fifth of its width.  It is also known as the “cross of St. Andrew”, since the saint was supposed to have been martyred on one.

The diminutive of the saltire is called a “saltorel”; this term was originally used when there was more than one saltire, which (since multiple saltires couldn’t easily be throughout) meant “saltire couped”.  The term came to apply generally to saltires couped, even solitary ones.  (“Saltorel” does not mean a “skinny saltire”; as with the fillet cross, such non-medieval usage is not permitted.)  The saltorel dates as early as 1275, in the arms of Boyville [ANA2 547].  Period emblazons may have the ends couped square, or couped fesswise as in the illustration; the latter seems more usual in British armory.

Cross of St. Julian (Period)

Cross of St. Julian (Period)

The “cross of St. Julian” is a cross crosslet set saltirewise; it seems to have acquired the name by its use (assumed 1514, confirmed 1634) in the arms of the Worshipful Company of Innholders, whose patron saint was St. Julian the Hospitaller [Bromley & Child 144-6; also Legh 39v].

In other respects, the saltire may be treated as if it were a cross:  for example, one might have a saltire flory, as in the arms of de Ayno, c.1460 [RH].  It is also subject to the usual treatments:  embattling, voiding, cotising, &c.  The “saltire nowy” is permitted, but considered a step from period practice.

The Prince of Tir Rígh bears:  Azure, on a saltire between four mullets of eight points argent a laurel wreath azure.

Mark Lasie of Westminster bears:  Per fess gules and sable, a saltire argent.

Alasdair MacArthur bears:  Or, a saltire vert.

David Conyers bears:  Argent, three saltorels gules.

Karl der Wanderer bears:  Gules, a saltire barbed Or.

Rhiannon Annsachd bears:  Gules, a saltire cotised Or.

Geoffrey de Blenkinsopp bears:  Checky sable and argent, a saltire parted and fretted Or.

James Yale bears:  Gyronny sable and gules, a cross of St. Julian Or.

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