Arms of England
(The Royal). The three lions leopardised were the cognisance of William the Conqueror; the lion rampant in the second quarter is from the arms of Scotland; and the harp in the fourth quarter represents Ireland. The lion supporter is in honour of England, and the unicorn in honour of Scotland. These two supporters were introduced by James I.
William I. had only two lions passant gardant; the third was introduced by Henry II. The lion rampant first appeared on Scotch seals in the reign of Alexander II. (1214–1249). The harp was assigned to Ireland in the time of Henry VII.; before that time the arms of Ireland were three crowns. The unicorn was not a supporter of the royal arms of Scotland before the reign of Mary Stuart.
“The relapsed arm delivered to the secular arm.” —Priestley. Corruptions of Christianity.
To arms! cried Mortimer, And couched his quivering lance.
Gray: The Bard.
Come to my arms. Come, and let me embrace you. To lay down their arms. To cease from armed hostility; to surrender. Under arms. Prepared for battle; in battle array.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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