I have written before about the difference between an orle and an escutcheon voided and I maintain that there is a difference, perhaps not immediately apparent when shown on a single (escutcheon shaped) shield but obvious when shown on a quarterd shield or banner. The example I use is that of Winnington whose entry in the Visitations varies between the two. In the Visitations of 1513/80 and those of 1613 it is noted as an orle. However, it is apparent from contemporary usage that the family always depicted it as an escutcheon voided and this is best illustrated by reference to a hatchment in the possession of Marple Hall School showing the arms of Winnington of Offerton as recorded in the Visitations.
Winnington of Offerton
Arms: Quarterly -
1 & 4 Argent, an orle within eight martlets in orle Sable, a mullet for difference.
2 & 3 Gules, on a chief Or three annulets of the field [Offerton]
Crest: An alembic, or still , Argent charged with a mullet for difference.
The eagle eyed amongst my readers may have spotted an interloper on the Winnington quartering. It is my belief that the painter executing the hatchment was copying some other work and mistook the mullet indicating cadency for another martlet.
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