Again, in Marmion, we read: -
"The summoned Palmer came in place, His sable cowl o'erhuug his face; In his black mantle was he clad, With Peter's keys in cloth of red
Was from Loretto brought; His sandals were with travel tore, Staff, budget, bottle, scrip he wore: The faded palm-branch in his hand, Showed pilgrim from the Holy Land".
At the present day many distinguished families bear scallop shells on their shields, showing that their ancestors had made pilgrimages to the Holy Land, or other distant shrines; and Fuller says: -
"For the scallop shows a coat of arms, That, of the bearer's line, Some one in former days hath been To Santiago's shrine".
"The scallop shell may be seen in the arms of the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Jersey* (whose ancestor, Sir Richard de Villars, "assumed the coat of arms, argent, on a cross gules, five escallops or," in the reign of Edward I., as a badge for his services in the Crusades), the Marquis Townshend, Lord Dacres, and many others. An escallop argent, between two palm-branches vert, is the crest of Bullingham, of Lincolnshire; and that of Bower, of Cloughton and Bridlington, Yorkshire, is an escallop argent.
* ' The Noble and Gentle Men of England,' by E. P. Shirley, Esq.
The arms of Buckenham Priory, Norfolk, founded about 1146, by William de Albini, Earl of Arundel, and Queen Adeliza, his wife, widow of King Henry L, were argent, three escallops sable; and the seal of the Priory bears the figure of St. James as a pilgrim, with the scallop shell in his hat, a pilgrim's staff in one hand, and a scrip in the other.* Another old Abbey seal, of which I have seen the impression, has the figure of St. James (or Saint Jacques de la Hovre) in his pilgrim's dress, his staff in one hand and a scrip in the other, with a scallop shell on either side of the figure. The inscription, unfortunately, I could not read, as it was indistinct. The Abbey of Reading, Berks, was under the patronage of St. James the Great, and bore as arms, "azure, three escallops or"† On many monumental slabs and tombs the scallop shell appears; and in Melbourne Church, Derbyshire, in a canopied recess in the chancel, is a recumbent figure of a knight, or crusader, with mail and surcoat, with a shield on his arm bearing three scallop shells, with chevron between. The monument is much mutilated, and it is not known to whom it belongs. Again, in St. Clement's Church, Sandwich, is a slab with the date 1583, to the memory of "George Raw, gent., sometyme mayor and customer of Sandwic, and mar-chant adventurer in London;" with a shield bearing the arms, ermine on a chief (gules), two escallop shells (or); crest, a dexter arm embowered in armour (sable), garnished (or), holding a scallop shell. However, the escallop in heraldry is borne Dot only as a badge of pilgrimages, but by those who have made long voyages, have gained great victories, or have had important naval commands.*
* Moule's 'Heraldry of Fish,' p. 223.
† 'Glossary of Heraldry,' Parker, Oxford.
It is curious to remark, that leaden coffins, ornamented with scallop shells, rings, and beaded pattern, belonging to a much earlier period, have been dug up from time to time on the sites of Roman cemeteries. Mr. C. Roach Smith, in an interesting paper on ' Leaden Coffins,' in 'Journal of the Archaeological Association,' vol. ii., mentions several. Two were found at Colchester, and near one of them was an urn, in which were two coins, one of Antoninus Pius, and the other of Alexander Severus; again, in Weever's ' Funeral Monuments,' mention is made of a similar coffin (discovered in the parish of Stepney, Middlesex, in the district known to occupy the site of one of the cemeteries of Roman London), the upper part ornamented with scallop shells; having at the head and foot two jars; on the sides a number of bottles of glistening red earth, some of which were painted, and also some glass phials. The chest, or coffin, contained the body of a woman. Leaden coffins have been found at York, and in a Roman tomb at Southfleet, Kent, and other places, as well as in France; and Mr. C. Roach Smith says, "that they may, most of them, possibly be assigned to the Roman-British period".
* 'Crests of Great Britain and Ireland,' vol. i. p. 525, by Fairbairn.
The scallop shell appears legitimately to have belonged to pilgrims to the Shrine of St. James of Com-postella, as may be gleaned from the following legend given by old Spanish writers: -
"The body of St. James, after he had been beheaded by Herod Agrippa, was taken away by his disciples, carried to Joppa, and placed on board ship (some say that this ship was of marble). The angels miraculously conveyed the body of the saint, in the ship without sails or oars, from Joppa to Galicia. It passed the village of Bonzas, on the coast of Portugal, on the day that a marriage had been celebrated there. The bridegroom, with his friends, were amusing themselves on horseback on the sands, when his horse became unmanageable, and plunged into the sea; whereupon the miraculous ship stopped in its voyage, and presently the bridegroom emerged, horse and man, close beside it. A conversation ensued between the knight and the saint's disciples on board, in which they apprised him that it was the saint who saved him from a watery grave, and explained the Christian religion to him. He believed, and was baptized there and then, and immediately the ship resumed its voyage, and the knight came galloping back over the sea to rejoin his astonished friends. He told them all that had happened, and they, too, were converted, and the knight baptized his bride with his own hand. Now, when the knight emerged from the sea, both his dress and the trappings of his horse were covered with scallop shells; and, therefore, the Galicians took the scallop shell as the sign of St. James".*