200px|The 719 quarterings of [[George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham|George, Marquess of Buckingham
200px|The 719 quarterings of [[George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham|George, Marquess of Buckingham
Quartering in is a method of joining several different [[coat of arms|coats of arms together in one [[Escutcheon (heraldry)|shield by [[Division of the field|dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division. Typically, a quartering consists of a division into four equal parts, two above and two below (''party per cross''). Occasionally the division is instead along both diagonals (
party per saltier''
party per saltier''
) again creating four parts but now at top, bottom, left, and right. An example of ''party per cross'' is the Sovereign Arms of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
, as used outside Scotland, which consists of four quarters, displaying the Arms of
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continent ...

Scotland Scotland ( sco|Scotland, gd|Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwis ...

Ireland Ireland (; ga|Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, ...

, with the coat for England repeated at the end. (In the royal arms as used in Scotland, the Scottish coat appears in the first and fourth quarters and the English one second.). An example of ''party per saltier'' is the arms of the medieval
Kingdom of Sicily The Kingdom of Sicily ( la|Regnum Siciliae, it|Regno di Sicilia, scn|Regnu di Sicilia, ca|Regne de Sicília, es|Reino de Sicilia) was a state that existed in the south of the Italian peninsula and for a time the region of Ifriqiya from its fou ...

Kingdom of Sicily
which also consists of four sections, with top and bottom displaying the coat of the
Crown of Aragon The Crown of Aragon (; an|Corona d'Aragón; ca|Corona d'Aragó; es|Corona de Aragón)' ()' (, , )' ()' (). was a composite monarchy, also nowadays referred to as a confederation of individual polities or kingdoms ruled by one king, originated ...

Crown of Aragon
, and left and right the coat of the Sicily branch of the
Hohenstaufen The Hohenstaufen ( , , ), also called Staufer, was a noble dynasty of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia from 1079 and to royal rule in the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages from 1138 until 1254. The most prominent kings ...

dynasty during their reign as
Holy Roman Emperors The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la|Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the middle ages, and also known as the German-Roman Emperor since the early modern period ( la|Imperator Ger ...

Holy Roman Emperors
. However, in most traditions there is no limit on the number of divisions allowed, and the records of the
College of Arms The College of Arms, or Heralds' College, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereig ...

College of Arms
include a shield of 323 quarterings for the family of
Lloyd of Stockton
Lloyd of Stockton
. These 323 quarterings include numerous repeated
attributed arms from the 15th-century ''Hyghalmen Roll'', based on the instruments of the Passion Attributed arms are Western European coats of arms given retrospectively to persons real or fictitious who died before the start of the age of heraldry in the lat ...

attributed arms
assigned to Welsh chieftains from the 9th century or earlier. Another example of a shield of many quarterings is the coat of arms of the Powys-Lybbe family, which contains 64 quarterings. Different rules apply in
Scottish heraldry Heraldry in Scotland, while broadly similar to that practised in England and elsewhere in western Europe, has its own distinctive features. Its heraldic executive is separate from that of the rest of the United Kingdom. Executive The Scottish hera ...

Scottish heraldry
, and may well apply in other jurisdictions like
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...

South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...

South Africa
. The arms of the
Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies (the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man) and its overseas t ...

Queen of the United Kingdom
are arms of dominion, which join together the arms of the ex-kingdoms now part of her kingdom. However, the vast majority of quarterly coats of arms display arms which are claimed by descent: in other words, they join together coats of arms of the ancestors of the bearer of the arms. Strict rules apply in English Heraldry, both as to what arms may be displayed by way of quarterings, and the order in which they may be displayed. Men and women are always entitled to display the arms of their paternal line but are not usually entitled to display by way of quartering the arms of families from whom there is descent only through a female line (for example, the arms of a mother or grandmother or great-grandmother). An exception is made, however, if the female who breaks the male line of descent is a
heraldic heiress[[Image:Escutcheon of pretence demo.svg|Simple example of incorporating an heiress's arms as an escutcheon of pretence. Note that this does not display the arms of their children, but rather the changes to the heiress's arms once she marries. Their ...

heraldic heiress
—a woman who has no brothers, or whose brothers have died without issue. Such a woman is entitled to transmit her father's arms to her own children, who add them as a quartering. If her father was himself entitled to one or more quarterings, these will pass to his daughters' children as quarterings as well. Quarterings are displayed in the order in which they are acquired by a family by marriage, starting with those acquired by the earliest marriage to bring in quarterings. It is permissible to omit quarterings, but if a quartering was brought in by a later quartering, it is essential to show the whole chain of quarterings leading to the quartering displayed, or else to omit the chain altogether. The larger the number of quarterings, the smaller the space available for each coat of arms, so that most families entitled to many quarterings make a selection of those they ordinarily use. The [[Duke of Norfolk, for example, uses only four quarterings, although he is entitled to many more. In Scotland in some cases the plain unquartered coat is the more prized, as entitlement to its use can indicate who is chief of the name and arms and holds the headship of a clan. For example,
Flora Fraser, Lady Saltoun of Abernethy
Flora Fraser, Lady Saltoun of Abernethy
has arms as chief of
Fraser The Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research (FRASER) is a digital archive begun in 2004 by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to safeguard, preserve and provide easy access to the United States’ economic history, particularly t ...

—the plain coat of 'azure, three fraises argent'—and a 'private' quartered coat. The Powys-Lybbe family appear, likewise, to usually use only the quarterings of
Powys Powys (; ) is a principal area and county, and one of the preserved counties of Wales. It is named after the Kingdom of Powys which was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of ...

and Lybbe. However these are not true quarterings as the arms were changed in 1907 to be an impartible design of the two arms; the personal arms are precisely this design, with no quarterings despite its appearance. (If this were a quartering the following would apply: when only two different coats of arms are shown, each one is repeated twice in order to fill up the minimum number of four quarterings on such a display.) Prior to the 1907 change, the family did quarter their arms with Lybbe but with the Powys arms in the top left quarter as these were the family arms; the new design has Lybbe in the top left as Lybbe is the last part of the name.

See also

Division of the field In heraldry, the field (background) of a shield can be divided into more than one area, or subdivision, of different tinctures, usually following the lines of one of the ordinaries and carrying its name (e.g. a shield divided in the shape of a chevr ...

Division of the field
Quartering of Castile and León
Quartering of Castile and León
, the first use of this method



* {{heraldry
es:Cuartel (heráldica)
es:Cuartel (heráldica)