Lion and Unicorn
The animosity which existed between these beasts, referred to
by Spenser in his Faërie Queene, is allegorical of the animosity
which once existed between England and Scotland.
Like as a lyon, whose imperial powre
A prowd rebellious unicorn defyes.
Book ii. canto 5.
Lion and Unicorn.
Ever since 1603 the royal arms have been supported as now by the
English lion and Scottish unicorn; but prior to the accession of James
I. the sinister supporter was a family badge. Edward III., with whom
supporters began, had a lion and eagle; Henry IV., an antelope and
swan; Henry V., a lion and antelope; Edward IV., a lion and bull;
Richard III., a lion and boar; Henry VII., a lion and dragon;
Elizabeth, Mary, and Henry VIII., a lion and greyhound. The lion is
dexter —i.e. to the right hand of the wearer or person behind
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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