(The). One of several badges of the House of Lancaster, but not necessarily the most prominent. It was used by Edmund, Earl of Lancaster (1245-96), called Crouchback, second son of Henry III, and it was one of the badges of Henry IV and Henry V, but it does not appear to have been used by Henry VI. The rose-plucking scene in Shakespeare's Henry VI, PT. I II, iv (1590) ie essentially a fiction.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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