(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.
Which arm of the service. Military or naval? The secular arm. Civil, in contradistinction to ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
“The relapsed arm delivered to the secular arm.” —Priestley. Corruptions of Christianity.
To arm a magnet. To put an armature on a loadstone. A coat of arms. An heraldic device. A passage of arms. A literary controversy; a battle of words. An assault at arms (or of arms). An attack by fencers; a hand-to-hand military exercise. At arm's length. At a distance. To keep one at arm's length is to repel familiarity. In arms. A child in arms is an infant carried about in one's arms. A city in arms is one in which the people are armed for war. King of arms. A chief herald in the College of Heralds. Here arms means heraldic devices. Small arms. Those which do not, like artillery, require carriages. To appeal to arms. To determine to decide a litigation by war. To arms! Make ready for battle.
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.
Up in arms. In open rebellion; roused to anger, as the clergy were up in arms against Colenso for publishing his Lectures on the Pentateuch. The latter is a figure of speech. With open arms. Cordially; as persons receive a dear friend when they open their arms for an embrace.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894